By: DarioHealth | February 2, 2021

Managing Side Effects of Oral Diabetes Medication – Weighing the Risks vs. Benefits

As with any treatment that you seek to undergo or stop, it is crucial to weigh out the pros and cons of whether or not the medication side effects outweigh its benefits. This is a discussion best had with your medical care provider. Especially for people with Type 2 diabetes, oral medications offer a way to get effective treatment while avoiding or decreasing the amount of painful insulin jabs necessary. Many of the diabetes oral medications, like Glucotrol, work by stimulating the release of insulin, while other medications, like Metaformin, increase sensitivity to insulin and inhibit the release of glucose from the liver.[2]

The side effects range from more common issues like nausea, diarrhea, weight gain, and headaches to more serious complications such as urinary tract infections, heart attack, and kidney failure. Other complications, such as bloating and gas, are not life-threatening but can be uncomfortable or at times a source of embarrassment. One member of an online diabetes forum nicked-named her Metformin “Metfartin” to put a humorous twist on the side effect she experiences. To get a full list of oral medications for diabetes, along with their benefits and side effects, we recommend checking out the Oral Diabetes Medications Summary Chart by the Joslin Diabetes Center[3].

When starting any new medication, make notes and record how you are feeling directly in your Dario app. Journaling how you are feeling, both physically and emotionally, is a helpful tool in noticing other changes in your body. Making notes can also assist you in understanding if the way you are feeling or the side effects you are experiencing are related to the medication you have started, something you are eating or drinking, or other activities.

What is key is that you discuss with your doctor all of your medication options for your diabetes management. If you are experiencing any of the more serious symptoms of heart attack, infection, or kidney failure associated to your prescription contact your doctor or emergency medical services immediately. If less serious side effects such as nausea and upset stomach persist after the first few weeks of treatment with your oral medication, talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching to another type of medication or what the impact of stopping treatment with that prescription would be. Always know what your medication options are, because if there are alternatives that create fewer side effects, you have the right to live more comfortably while still receiving adequate care for your diabetes.

Medical Disclaimer
The articles provided on this website are for informational purposes only. In addition, it is written for a generic audience and not a specific case; therefore, this information should not be used for diagnostic or medical treatment. This site does not attempt to replace the patient-physician relationship and fully recommends the reader to seek out the best care from his/her physician and/or diabetes educator.