AADE7 Self-Care Behavior: Taking Medication

Like many people with diabetes, you may need to take medication to help keep your blood sugar (glucose) level steady. Diabetes increases your risk for other health conditions, such as heart or kidney related problems, so you may need to take medicine to help with those, too.

Medications you may need to take for your diabetes include:

  • Insulin, a hormone that helps your body use or store the food (carbs) you eat for energy
  • Medications that that help your body release or use insulin better
  • Anti-hypertensives, which lower blood pressure
  • Statins, which lower cholesterol
  • Aspirin, which lowers your risk of heart attack
  • Vaccinations, including influenza and pneumonia, which help you stay healthy

Because each medication can affect how the others work or cause other problems, it’s important to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, vitamins and herbs.

A diabetes educator can play an important role in helping you with your medicines. After receiving the prescriptions from your doctor, talk to a diabetes educator and consider asking these questions:


Medication tips:

  • Don’t forget – To be sure you take your medication at the right time every day, time it to other daily activities (such as brushing your teeth or eating breakfast), or set your cell phone or watch alarm to remind you.
  • Rotate your sites – If you inject insulin, rotate the sites every day from the fattier part of your upper arm to outer thighs to buttocks to abdomen. Otherwise, you can get lumps under the skin, making it harder for your body to absorb the insulin.

You can also download a flyer on taking medication – including sample questions about things you should know about your medication and ask your doctor – here: