If you have Type 2 diabetes you may be treated with medication as well as by a healthy diet and keeping active. The information in this section is about
- the types of diabetes medication available
- tips on managing your medication.
Many people with Type 2 diabetes take tablets to lower their blood glucose levels. They are not the same as insulin. Insulin cannot be taken in tablet form because it would be broken down in the stomach before it could work.
This section does not contain information about treating your diabetes with insulin. For advice about medication for other conditions associated with diabetes (eg high blood pressure, heart or kidney problems) speak to your healthcare team.
You may have just been told that you have Type 2 diabetes or you may have had it for some time and have been managing it until now with diet and physical activity. If, however, being treated by diet and physical activity alone is not working for you, your doctor/nurse may also advise medication that lowers your blood glucose.
All medicines can have side effects and these are listed alongside each medicine described in this section. You may or may not experience any of these. However, if you do, speak to your doctor as there may be another medication which could be used instead.
If you think a medicine has caused a side effect, or even if you are unsure, you can report the problem to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on a ‘Yellow Card’.
Yellow card forms are available from pharmacies and other outlets across the NHS.
The information about blood glucose lowering medication on this website is for general use only. If you have any questions, concerns about individual health matters or the treatment of your diabetes, please consult your diabetes care team.
Your pharmacist may offer you a free 'Medicine Use Review' to discuss what medications you are taking, what they do, how well they work for you and how to get the most out of them.