7 Things Your Pharmacist Wants You to Know ... - Diabetes India

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7 Things Your Pharmacist Wants You to Know About Type 2 Diabetes


Source - Living With Diabetes -- email- October 02, 2016

1. *** Don’t split pills to cut costs. Many diabetes medications are extended release, so they are engineered to deliver the active ingredient over a 24-hour period. If you split pills, you might “break the matrix, which can result in the wrong amounts released at the wrong times,” says Robert S. Roscoe, B.Sc.Pharm, ACPR, CDE, CPT, a pharmacist and certified diabetes educator in Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada. “This can have negative effects on blood sugar levels.” Before splitting your pills, always ask a pharmacist if it’s okay.

2. *** Don’t skip a dose. “One of the biggest mistakes people with diabetes make is not taking their medications when they don’t eat, when they modify their diet, or when they’re sick,” says Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, CDE, a professor and associate dean for clinical services and practice transformation at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore ( USA ).

3. *** Know which cold medications affect blood sugar. If you take medication for diabetes, certain over-the-counter (OTC) cold medications may wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, Rodriguez de Bittner says. Some OTC cold medications contain either sugar or alcohol, which can affect blood glucose, she says. Products with pseudoephedrine commonly found in cough or cold medications can also elevate blood sugar and blood pressure. It’s better to take sugar-free or alcohol-free medications for a cough or cold, especially if you’re using these products for several days or if your blood sugar is high or not well-controlled. A nasal spray decongestant may be a better alternative because it has little or no effect on blood sugar.

4. *** Don’t assume “natural” means safe. Many natural supplements can affect blood sugar, including niacin, DHEA, ginkgo biloba, melatonin, black or green tea, and high-dose fish oil or vitamin C, Rodriguez de Bittner says. “Other supplements might require a dosage change if you take medication for diabetes,” she says. “Check with a pharmacist before you start taking any supplement so you’re aware of how the supplement might affect your blood sugar as well as any potential drug interactions.”

5. *** Start diabetes treatment as soon as possible. Rather than start treatment right away, some people newly diagnosed with diabetes want to try to lose weight first to see if they can naturally reduce their blood sugar levels. “They’ll say, ‘Give me six months and I’ll lose weight,’ but that’s a mistake,” Roscoe says. “The sooner you can start treatment the better. You can always be rewarded for losing weight by being able to reduce or stop medication.” If treatment is delayed, your diabetes may progress and you could need more medication, he says.

6. *** Ask the right questions. When you’re first prescribed a new diabetes medication, the ADA suggests asking your pharmacist the following questions:

What if I forget to take this medication?

What are the side effects of this medication?

What should I do if I experience any side effects from this medication?

Will this medication cause a problem with any other medicines?

7. *** Don’t get discouraged. Most people with diabetes will need more than one medication to effectively manage the condition, Roscoe says. “This doesn’t mean you’re not doing well, and even if you need insulin, it doesn’t mean your diabetes is worse or that it’s your fault,” he says. A pharmacist can explain what each medication does and why it’s important that you take all of your diabetes medications as directe.

4 Replies

I have different views.This post looks to be more from a doctor and pharma company oriented.

2) it depends on which medications are taken. If they're pancreas whipping secretagogues one needs to skip them when doesn't eat.Or taking medications while not eating / fasting may end up in hypo.Yes.Drugs like metformin,pioglitazone and acarbose groups which don't make insulin to be secreted can / should be taken.

5) very orthodox view.On finding that one is diabetic one need not panick.Take deep breath.Learn about diabetes.Get determined to change diet to lchf / keto depending upon the severity of diabetes. Try for a few days and if idm is done intently i think no / very few simple medications may be needed. Drug centric therapeutic strategy is an old concept. The matter of fact is that diabetes itself is not a disease. It's metabolic condition and no drug,herb etc can cure it.Actually since diabetes is not a disease it can't be cured but reversed and kept under control.Further no doctor or drug can help t2ds. Only and only the sufferers can help themselves by learning about diabetes to the best of their understanding and make modifications in their living style. Further diabetes is controlled almost solely by idm / low carb keto range diet aided by exercise, yoga,herbs etc and the dietary changes must be observed for the rest of the life. And yes obese diabetics need to lose abdominal fat which leads to weight loss.And idm if observed correctly and strictly diabetes would get under controlled much sooner than 6 months, may be in 15-30 days. Usually in 2-3 months with liberal idm / lchf diet.

7) prescribing insulin and multiple drugs to a t2d suggests badly managed diabetes.Such treatment will not only not cure / reverse / control diabetes or prevent its complications but also be harmful by increasing ir which ultimately require more drugs and pushing pancreas to secrete more insulin is like whipping a tired horse.

Fatbuddy in reply to suramo

Thank you friend. I agree most of it. I am not expert - Just posted for info --

I was thinkning same -- if fasting or skipping a breakfast - or lunch- should one take medicine in morng or not ?

suramoStar in reply to Fatbuddy

Depends on which drugs are you taking. If it's a secretagogue you should not. Metformin,pioglitazone, voglibose group drugs can be taken. Bf is not compulsory. Take one or two meals. Usually drugs have meal related doses.Take 15 min before or after meals .

Luckysugar in reply to suramo

Great comments suramo, I totally agree. Each diabetic really needs to know the root causes and how to deal with the conditions in a safe and sustainable manner. I would recommend people to make lifestyle changes before taking any drug. If we fail today to keep BSL in control, don't give up as you can do better tomorrow.

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