Questions to Ask about Your Diabetes Medications

Ask your doctor these questions when you get a prescription for a medicine. Make copies of this insert and use one sheet for each of your medicines.

  1. What are the names of my medicine?Brand name:

    Generic name:

  2. What does my medicine do?
  3. When should I start this medicine?
  4. This medicine is prescribed by:
  5. How long will it take this medicine to work?
  6. What is the strength (for example, how many milligrams, written as mg)?
  7. How much should I take for each dose?
  8. How many times a day should I take my medicine?
  9. At what times should I take my medicine?
  10. Should I take it before, with, or after a meal?
  11. Should I avoid any foods or medicines when I take it?
  12. Should I avoid alcoholic beverages when I take it?
  13. Are there any times when I should change the amount of medicine I take?
  14. What should I do if I forget to take it?
  15. If I’m sick and can’t keep food down, should I still take my medicine?
  16. Can my diabetes medicine cause low blood glucose?
  17. What should I do if my blood glucose is too low?
  18. What side effects can this medicine cause?
  19. What should I do if I have side effects?
  20. How should I store this medicine?

What oral medicines treat type 2 diabetes? 

You may need medicines along with healthy eating and physical activity habits to manage your type 2 diabetes. You can take many diabetes medicines by mouth. These medicines are called oral medicines.

Most people with type 2 diabetes start medical treatment with metformin  pills. Metformin also comes as a liquid. Metformin lowers the amount of glucose that your liver makes and helps your body use insulin better. This drug may help you lose a small amount of weight.

Other oral medicines act in different ways to lower blood glucose levels. You may need to add another diabetes medicine after a while or use a combination treatment. Combining two or three kinds of diabetes medicines can lower blood glucose levels more than taking just one.

What other injectable medicines treat type 2 diabetes?

Besides insulin, other types of injected medicines are available. These medicines help keep your blood glucose level from going too high after you eat. They may make you feel less hungry and help you lose some weight. Other injectable medicines are not substitutes for insulin. Learn more about noninsulin injectable medicines .