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Diabetes Medication

Other Injectable Diabetes Drugs

Besides insulin, there are two other classes of injectable diabetes medicines:
 
Exenatide and liraglutide work by acting like the hormone incretin in the body, increasing insulin production and slowing digestion. They are used to treat type 2 diabetes, either by themselves or in combination with other diabetes medications.
 
Pramlintide is used to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This medicine works like the hormone amylin in the body, increasing insulin production, slowing digestion, decreasing the production of glucose by the liver, and reducing appetite.
  

Diabetes Medication and Hypoglycemia

Sulfonylureas, meglitinides, D-phenylalanine derivatives, combination oral medicines, and insulin are the types of drugs for diabetes that can make blood glucose go too low. Hypoglycemia can occur for many reasons, including:
 
  • Delaying or skipping a meal
  • Eating too little food at a meal
  • Getting more exercise than usual
  • Taking too much medicine
  • Drinking alcohol.
     
You know your blood glucose may be low when you feel one or more of the following symptoms:
 
  • Dizzy or lightheaded
  • Hungry
  • Nervous and shaky
  • Sleepy or confused
  • Sweaty.
     
If you think your blood glucose is low, test it to see for sure. If your blood glucose is at or below 70 mg/dL, have one of these items to get 15 grams of carbohydrate:
 
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of any fruit juice
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of milk
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar or honey
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of regular soda
  • 5 or 6 pieces of hard candy
  • Glucose gel or tablets (take the amount noted on the package to add up to 15 grams of carbohydrate).
     
Test your blood glucose again 15 minutes later. If it is still below 70 mg/dL, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrate. Then test your blood glucose again in 15 minutes.
 
If you cannot test your blood glucose right away but you feel symptoms of hypoglycemia, eat one of the previously items listed.
 
If your blood glucose is not low but you will not eat your next meal for at least an hour, have a snack with starch and protein. Here are some examples:
 
  • Crackers and peanut butter or cheese
  • Half of a ham or turkey sandwich
  • A cup of milk and crackers or cereal.
     
Healthy Eating for People With Diabetes

Diabetes Treatments

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