Type 2 Diabetes: Living With the Disease (cont.)
How medicine helps manage diabetes
Some people with type 2 diabetes need pills (oral medicines) to help their bodies make insulin, decrease insulin resistance, or slow down how quickly their bodies absorb carbohydrate.
You may take no medicine, one medicine, or a few medicines. Some people need to take medicine for a short time, while others always need to take medicine. How much medicine you need depends on how well you can keep your blood sugar within your target range. You may need more medicine over time, even if you have good control of your blood sugar.
Taking two or more medicines may work better to lower your blood sugar level than taking one medicine alone. Also, taking two or more medicines may mean fewer side effects if you are taking a lower dose of each.
- Oral medicines that help your body make insulin. These include:
- Sulfonylureas, such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase, and Micronase), glimepiride (Amaryl), and other medicines that work in combination (Glucovance, Metaglip).
- Meglitinides, such as repaglinide (Prandin), nateglinide (Starlix), and a combination medicine (Prandimet).
- DPP-4 inhibitors, such as sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza), and a combination medicine (Janumet).
- Oral medicines that lower insulin resistance. These include:
- Oral medicines that slow down absorption of carbohydrates. These include:
- Medicines that help lower blood sugar. If you are having trouble controlling your blood sugar with pills, your doctor may suggest one of these medicines:
- Insulin. Insulin lets sugar (glucose) in the blood enter cells, where it is used for energy. Without insulin, the blood sugar level gets too high. Most of the time, people who take insulin use a combination of short-acting and long-acting insulin. This helps keep blood sugar within your target range. You may want to learn more about when insulin is needed for type 2 diabetes.
You may also need to take:
Managing your medicines
Medicines can help you manage your diabetes and other health problems, but only if you take them correctly. It can be hard to keep track of when and how to take your medicine, especially if you are taking more than one. Maybe you aren't sure why you are taking a medicine or if it is working. Or you might have trouble paying for your medicine. For help, see: