When starting your treatment your doctor will work together with you to get the most out of drug free therapy. The effectiveness of this therapy should be tested over the range of 3 months. In this case, your cooperation is very important. If the first therapeutic goals cannot be achieved, your doctor may prescribe you drugs that will lower your blood sugar level. Be aware, this does not mean that you should forget about your changes in lifestyle. The “right” lifestyle will only support the medical treatment and will help you to reach your therapeutic goals.
The decision about which medications are best depends on many factors, including your blood sugar level and any other health problems you may have. Your doctor might even combine drugs from different classes to help you control your blood sugar in several different ways.
The medication in tablet or pill form lowers glucose in different ways. Some of them increase insulin secretion, others improve the sensitivity of the body to insulin. Others delay or prevent glucose from being absorbed from the intestines into the body.
Often, people who are newly diagnosed will be prescribed metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others), a diabetes medication that improves your body tissues’ sensitivity to insulin and lowers glucose production in the liver.
Some diabetes medications stimulate your pancreas to produce and release more insulin. They include glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase) and glimepiride (Amaryl). Still others block the action of enzymes that break down carbohydrates in the intestine, such as acarbose (Precose), or make your tissues more sensitive to insulin, such as metformin (Glucophage).
Discuss the pros and cons of different drugs with your doctor. Together you can decide which medication is best for you considering many factors, including costs and other aspects of your health.
In addition to diabetes medications, your doctor might prescribe low-dose aspirin therapy as well as blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications to help prevent heart and blood vessel disease.