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Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Diabetes Library: Care of Diabetes

Medicines for Diabetes

Combining Medicines

Your doctor may ask you to take more than one diabetes medicine at a time. Some diabetes medicines that lower blood sugar work well together. Here are examples:

Two diabetes pills

If one type of pill alone does not control your blood sugar, then your doctor might ask you to take two kinds of pills. Each type of pill has its own way of acting to lower blood sugar.

Here are pills used together:

  • A sulfonylurea and metformin.
  • A sulfonylurea and acarbose.
  • Metformin and acarbose.
  • Repaglinide and metformin.

Diabetes pills and insulin

Your doctor might ask you to take insulin and one of these diabetes pills:

  • Insulin and a sulfonylurea.
  • Insulin and metformin.
  • Insulin and troglitazone.

How do I know if my diabetes medicines are working?

Learn to test your blood sugar. Ask your doctor or diabetes teacher about the best testing tools for you and how often to test.

After you test your blood sugar, write down your blood sugar test results. Then ask your doctor or diabetes teacher if your diabetes medicines are working. A good blood sugar reading before meals is between 70 and 140 mg/dl.

Ask your doctor or diabetes teacher about how low or how high your blood sugar should get before you take action. For many people, blood sugar is too low below 70 mg/dl and too high above 240 mg/dl.

One other number to know is the result of a blood test your doctor does called hemoglobin A1c (HE-muh-glow-bin A-1-C) or glycated hemoglobin (GLY-kay-ted HE-muh-glow-bin). It shows your blood sugar control during the last 2 to 3 months. For most people, a good hemoglobin A1c is 7 percent.


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Reprinted with permission from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

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