What should I know about oral diabetes drugs?

When choosing an oral diabetes drug, several factors need to be considered. You should not take a sulfonylurea if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy or you have significant heart, liver, or kidney disease. During severe infections, surgery, or hospitalizations, you may need to replace your oral diabetes medications with insulin injections, at least temporarily. You should probably avoid sulfonylurea drugs if you are allergic to sulfa drugs. You should not take metformin if you have kidney, heart, or liver disease.
The important thing to know about oral diabetes drugs is that they can be used only by people with type 2 diabetes -- not type 1. Oral diabetes drugs are also not considered safe for use by pregnant women.

It's also important to recognize that oral diabetes drugs can't take the place of good lifestyle habits. You still need to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to control your blood sugar and stay healthy overall. Finally, oral diabetes drugs work best in people who are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. If you already take significant amounts of insulin or have had diabetes for 10 years or longer, oral diabetes drugs may not be the right choice for you. Talk to your doctor about whether you are a good candidate for oral diabetes drugs.

Continue Learning about Diabetes

The Pancreas and Diabetes
The Pancreas and Diabetes
Take a trip inside the body with this video from Virtual Health Solutions. Get an up-close look at the pancreas, the gland that produces the hormone i...
Read More
What is a diabetes educator?
William Lee DuboisWilliam Lee Dubois
Diabetes educators are specialists whose job it is to help you understand your diabetes better and t...
More Answers
4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes
4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes4 Ways Winter Affects Your Diabetes
Cold hands could be a bigger problem than you think.
Start Slideshow
Diabetes and Your Sex Life
Diabetes and Your Sex Life

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.