How to Improve on Diabetes Medication Management?
Better diabetes medication management can lead to easier diabetes care. The following pointers from the experts can assist you on better use of your diabetes testing supplies and medications.
If you have diabetes, it means that you have to know how your diabetes can be managed. Should there be a need for diabetes medications, getting the medications to be more effective is what better diabetes medications management is all about.
To manage your diabetes well, you need to work together with your doctor, keeping regular appointments, getting the latest prescriptions filled, receiving all necessary immunizations and informing your doctor of your treatment’s progress. To manage your medications better, you have to get organized and learn everything about your medications at home.
Tips for Improved Management of Diabetes Medication
Keep a well organized list of all the medications used. Your list must be written properly so that others can read your handwriting. A diabetes educator from Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, Shannon Knapp, RN, told of the times when patients would pull out a piece of folded, worn-out paper when their medication list is requested for. She recommends having a pillbox, besides having a proper record since diabetics take a number of medications many times each day.
A research which appeared in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy supports Knapp’s recommendation. The research studied at least 1,200 participants, the majority of them suffering from type 2 diabetes, and discovered that 86.8 percent of the participants take medications at least twice each day. Diabetics who strictly follow instructions on the use of their medications, making it a part of their daily lives, were better educated on their medications and did use a pillbox.
According to Amie D. Brooks, PharmD, who is the post of associate professor of pharmacy practice in St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Missouri, education on blood sugar monitoring, insulin therapy and oral medications should be parts of diabetes medication management. They have the same kind of problems which can be prevented with some knowledge.
Dr. Brooks advises you to take along a list of your medications whenever you go to a doctor. If you are given new medications by another doctor, inform your diabetes doctor at once. Certain medications such as steroids, decongestants and cough syrups which have sugar content can increase your blood glucose level. It is better to consult your pharmacist or doctor before using an over-the-counter medication.
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Below are the necessary specifics:
Oral Medications for Diabetics.
Besides the use of a pillbox, a calendar for indicating the refill dates of all your prescription medications. Many diabetics keep their oral medications in the bathroom but that is not right as pills can spoil easily with the humidity there. Such medications ought to be stored in a dry, dark place away from the bathroom, according to Brooks.
There are plenty of choices when purchasing oral medications for diabetes. They all have various types of interactions and side-effects. So, you should find out from your doctor the various kinds of side-effects that can be expected from every oral medication you need to take. For instance, a well known side effect of insulin is hypoglycemia or low blood glucose. Diabetics who use insulin must know the signs of hypoglycemia, cautions Brooks.
The date of expiration for an insulin vial is different from the date of expiration printed on the box containing the insulin. Insulin ought to be kept in a refrigerator until you begin its use, advises Knapp. Once you begin using the insulin in a vial, the day of expiration starts from then. It is no longer necessary to keep it in the refrigerator but its expiration will be approximately between 30 and 40 days’ time, the number of days differing from one brand to another.
You do not have to keep your insulin cold when you are on the move. Never freeze insulin as this makes it not stable; just not expose insulin to temperatures which are either too high or too low. If your insulin has been put for a period exceeding five minutes in temperatures above 86 degrees, it should no longer be used. Today, the majority of insulin is without color, just clear. So, if it becomes cloudy or contains particles in it, it should no longer be used, advises Brooks.
Always use a new lancet to avoid getting infection. Reusing lancets is not the way to reduce cost, Brooks advises. Test-calibrate glucometers once in nine months. You can also test your glucometer by using it to see if its result matches the result derived by your doctor. Although glucometers have been improved considerably, they still need to be replaced every five years.
After getting organized in your own home, you should learn about the precautions you should take with diabetes medications when you are on the move. Before going outstation, check to see which medications need refilling. Take along the necessary contact numbers and the list of medications you are using. Remember that test strips are sensitive to light and, therefore, should not be exposed to light. Remember that medications and testing supplies cannot withstand extreme heat or cold in your car or anywhere else, advises Knapps.
You have much to remember but it is necessary for the better you are at diabetes medication management, the better you can be in the management of your diabetes.