Diabetes Home > Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor Once You've Been Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes

Do I Need Medications?

In some people with type 2 diabetes, blood sugar levels can be controlled, at least initially, by eating the right foods and incorporating physical activity. However, if your type 2 diabetes cannot be managed with diet and exercise alone, you may be prescribed medications to help control blood sugar levels. In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe oral medicines (taken by mouth), insulin, or a combination of both.
 
If your healthcare provider recommends medications, make sure to ask him or her the names of the drugs you are being asked to take, how they work, and if they cause low blood sugar. If you are concerned about the price of the medications, ask your healthcare provider about generics or if there are any patient assistance programs to help with the costs.
 
Those who require insulin may want to talk to their healthcare provider about how to balance insulin, exercise, food intake, and other factors. Finding this balance can be tricky, as eating makes your blood sugar levels rise and insulin makes them come down. Exercise can also decrease your blood sugar levels. In addition, infections, illness, and some hormones can affect the way your body responds to insulin.
 
Some of the other questions you may want to ask your healthcare provider regarding medications include:
 
  • How do you determine if I need medicine for my type 2 diabetes?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • How do we know if the medication is working?
  • I take other medications. How will they affect my blood sugar control when used with diabetes medications?
  • Do I need to be on a schedule for taking my medications?
  • How do you determine which diabetes medicine is right for me?
  • Do I need to use more than one medication to control my type 2 diabetes?
 
You may also want to compile a list of all the medications you are taking. This includes prescription medicines, nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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