March 26, 2013

Scheduling Type 2 Medications and Meals

This is a topic I am asked about, see questions about it on forums, and hear some bad stories about when the medications are not explained to patients by their doctors or pharmacists. In most states, pharmacists are required to answer questions about prescription medications and when you are new to any medication, most are required to tell you about the medication. Just having the pharmacist fill the prescription, picking it up, and paying for it is not the proper course when a medication is new to you or a family member. Often the pharmacist will only highlight a few things like when to take it and repeat what the directions spell out on the container. Fortunately, in my state, they cannot stop there if you ask questions. Pharmacists have been penalized for not doing what the law requires.

This is one of the few blogs that I have seen on diabetes oral medications and scheduling them with your meals. The blog should be read by everyone and then if you have questions for your doctor or pharmacist, ask away. I have written about oral medications previously, but did not cover scheduling them with meals. Even this source says little about meals when they cover the different oral medications.

The above image carries a very important message. I cannot stress how important this is and how much better your diabetes management can be if you have knowledge about your medication(s). Then add to it the meal schedule and knowing when to take your medication in relation to your meal schedule can really be a boost to your diabetes management. Those of us taking insulin learn this early on and make use of this for the best diabetes management. That is the reason for encouraging you to read the blog by Joslin.

Most oral medications do suggest not taking a medication before a meal if you are not feeling well and may skip the meal. This is to prevent a low (hypoglycemia episode) from happening. Some oral medications do not need to be taken before or with food and therefore do not cause hypoglycemia by themselves or cause gastrointestinal tract problems.

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