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Diabetes PIL


Oral anti-diabetes medications

Drugs You Were Given Uses How to use this medication Common Side Effects Precautions
  • Glibenclamide
  • Gliclazide
  • Glimepiride
  • Glipizide
  • Tolbutamide
Helps to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood by stimulating insulin release Take immediately before a meal Side effects are mild and infrequent and include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea and constipation, weight gain, gastric discomfort Some of these medications can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms include chills, cold sweat, tremors, fast heart rate, weakness, headache, fainting, hunger, dizziness, drowsiness, tingling of the hands or feet

If you experience any of these symptoms, eat a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, orange juice or honey

It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets around with you to treat low blood sugar (in case of emergencies)

To prevent hypoglycemia, eat meals on a regular schedule and do not skip meals

Avoid alcohol

For patients on metformin, please inform your doctor when going for X-ray/scanning procedures. You will need to stop the medication temporarily before the procedure

Symptoms of high blood sugar(hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing or fruity breath odor. If any of these symptoms occur, contact your doctor immediately

  • Rosiglitazone
Improves body’s response to insulin May be taken without regards to meals Headache, weight gain, swelling and diarrhea Same as above
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
  • Acarbose
Helps to lower blood sugar by decreasing the absorption of glucose Take with the first bite of each main meal or immediately before a meal Excess wind in the stomach, diarrhea, stomach distention Same as above
  • Metformin
Improves body’s response to insulin Take after food Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, metallic taste Same as above


  • Actrapid
  • Humulin R


  • Insulatard
  • Humulin N

MIXED Insulins

  • Mixtard 30/70
  • Humulin 30/70
Reduces the sugar level in the blood Insulin is usually injected 30 minutes before a meal. It may also be injected at bedtime

Insulins should be stored in the refrigerator but not frozen. Discard one month after opening

May cause temporary irritation, pain, redness at the injection site and weight gain Same as above
- Last updated 8 Jul 2013,10:06 am

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