Sometimes, healthful habits like eating well, losing weight and exercising are not enough. In that case, your doctor may have you take:
- Read our guide to a
- About Insulin
There are a quite a few types of diabetes pills. Your doctor will tell you what kind of pills to take and how often. Taking pills does not replace healthful habits.
- Sulfonylurea drugs have been in use since the 1950s. Chlorpropamide is the only first–generation sulfonylurea still in use today. The second generation sulfonylureas are used in smaller doses than the first–generation drugs.
There are three second–generation drugs: glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride. These drugs are generally taken one to two times a day, before meals. All sulfonylurea drugs have similar effects on blood sugar levels, but they differ in side effects, how often they are taken, and interactions with other drugs.
- Metformin is a biguanide. It lowers blood sugar by helping insulin work better, mostly in the liver. It is usually taken two times a day. A side effect of metformin may be diarrhea, but this is improved when the drug is taken with food.
Insulin helps your cells take in blood sugar. You then no longer have too much sugar in your blood. Your doctor will try you on pills first. But sometimes pills don’t work. Or they work at first and then stop. When this happens, your doctor may have you take both pills and insulin or maybe just insulin alone. Your doctor will tell you what kind of insulin to take, how much and when.
More on Insulin
There are four types of insulin, based on
- Time of onset of action.
- Peak time of action.
- Duration of action.
However, each person responds to insulin in his or her own way. That is why onset, peak time, and duration are given as ranges. Rapid–acting insulin reaches the blood within 15 minutes after injection. It peaks 30 to 90 minutes later and may last as long as 5 hours. Short–acting (regular) insulin usually reaches the blood within 30 minutes after injection. It peaks 2 to 4 hours later and stays in the blood for about 4 to 8 hours. Intermediate–acting (NPH and lente) insulins reach the blood 2 to 6 hours after injection. They peak 4 to 14 hours later and stay in the blood for about 14 to 20 hours.