Taking diabetes medicines

Taking diabetes medicines2

It is important that you take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor, including when and how to take it.

When taking diabetes medicines, it is important to:

  • know what medicine you are taking and understand how it works.
  • ask about the potential side effects of the medicine. These are also listed in the package insert.
  • inform your doctor immediately if you experience any reaction to the medicine.

Insulin - what is insulin?

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It is needed to move glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into the body’s cells, where it is used for energy.

Why you may need to take insulin

If you have Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not make insulin. For this reason, you will always have to inject prescribed insulin. This is the only way for you to control your diabetes.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, you may need to take prescribed insulin when your blood glucose continues to stay high despite taking pills or tablets as prescribed, and trying other ways to control your blood glucose without the desired results. Starting insulin is not a sign that you have failed in controlling your diabetes. Type 2 diabetes tends to change over time and as such, you may require changes in your treatment regimen.


2 IDF Diabetes Atlas (8th Ed.) (2017). International Diabetes Federation: Brussels, Belgium. Online version accessed May. 5, 2018