If medications are not well managed, optimal health goals will not be achieved.
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Type 2 diabetes is about taking care of yourself 24/7. It can be daunting when first taking oral medications and even worse with multiple prescriptions. But with reasonable thought, it is possible to get off to a good start.
Prescription medications require a fixed daily schedule and it’s easy to miss doses. Keeping records will allow a person with type 2 diabetes to become familiar with brand and generic names, doses, times and dates. Some medications must be taken on an empty stomach, while others require food to be digested properly. Keep track of doses and appointments using a desk or smartphone calendar. Pill boxes, kitchen timers, alarm clocks, and smartphone apps are examples of reminders.
Building a trusting relationship with a doctor and following their advice and orders is an absolute requirement to help achieve both short- and long-term health goals. Each person is assessed individually and treated specifically for their state of health.
Using the same pharmacy for prescription refills and new orders is beneficial for someone with diabetes. Knowing the pharmacy staff will make the individual more comfortable, making visits to the pharmacy more pleasant and efficient. Don’t feel comfortable taking prescription or over-the-counter medication to the pharmacy or to the doctor to clarify questions. Family members or close friends will provide support. Involve family and close friends, but follow your intuition if something doesn’t sound right.
The internet is a gold mine of information, but there is a price to pay for believing everything you read. It is not advisable to buy drugs on the Internet claiming to cure. Mixing a prescription with an alternative medicine is not a good idea without consulting your GP.
Skipping doses or abruptly stopping medication without telling your doctor could be harmful to your body. Side effects can occur if not properly weaned off. Breaking up and sharing drugs with another person is not an option. It may be prudent to halve medications, but only with a doctor’s prescription. Expiration dates are in place for a reason. Products beyond the specified date may not fulfill their purpose.
Store all original medicine containers in a cabinet away from high temperatures, direct sunlight and moisture and out of sight of visitors, children and pets for safety reasons.
Keep a record of phone numbers for family, neighbors, local taxi service, emergency (911), doctor, and pharmacy on the fridge and car. Also keep all numbers in the contact list of the smartphone.
Finally, have confidence in yourself and remember that this is only one of the first steps towards a new role. Trust that many health professionals will provide care and guidance to ensure your health is a success.
American Association of Diabetes Educators, Cornell, S., Halstenson, C. & Miller, DK (2019). The Art and Science of Diabetes Self-Management Education Desk Reference (4th ed.). American Association of Diabetes Educators.