Oral medication for the treatment of diabetes

The medication dosage is different from one person to another depending on the blood glucose and the duration of the medication, and not by the amount of carbohydrates intake.

For a good control, it is important that you take your medication when you are supposed to. Also, respect your doctor’s prescription. Never modify your dosage without his consent.

Since different kinds of medication have different ways of lowering your blood glucose, it is possible and sometimes better to combine them to control your blood glucose.

General rules

– Always associate your diabetes medication with a meal.

– Never take your diabetes medication at bedtime.

– Never double the dose (even if the meal is bigger or if you forgot to take a dose).

If you see that you forgot to take your medication:

– Less than 30 minutes after the end of your meal: take your dose

– More than 30 minutes after the end of your meal: wait until your next meal to take your dose. If a dose is planned for that meal, do not take the forgotten one.

Do not forget! Medication is only part of treating diabetes. Exercise and balanced meals are as important.


There are 4 types of insulin: ultrarapid-acting, rapid-acting, intermediate action and prolonged action. The name they are called speaks for itself as to how they work.

Ultrarapid insulin: is injected right before meals, peaks effect in 1-2 hours, action lasts 3-5 hours.

Rapid insulin: injected before meals, peak effect 2-3 hours, action lasts 6-8 hours.

Intermediate insulin: lasts longer. Injected once or twice a day, peak effect 5-8 hours, action lasts up to 18 hours.

Prolonged insulin: injected once or twice a day, no peak effect, action lasts up to 24 hours.

Adjusting the insulin dose

The main goal is to maintain the blood glucose at a certain level. The multiple injection treatment and regular blood glucose testing will help reach this goal.

All changes made to your daily routine can modify your blood glucose.

To stabilize your blood glucose, changes have to be made in your diet, your exercise program and sometimes your medication. Speak with your doctor regarding your insulin adjustment. It’s very important.

Before making insulin changes on your own, here are a few pointers:

– You must understand the effects of each insulin injection.

– Know the possible causes of your blood glucose level variations (food, exercise, stress or illness).

– Take your blood glucose test more often to monitor the effects of the adjustments.

– Wait 2 to 3 days to see if your blood glucose level is stable before you make another adjustment.

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