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Manage Your Medication

Taking your diabetes medications as prescribed can prevent or delay some of the health problems caused by diabetes such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Therefore, it is important to take your diabetes medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor to keep your blood sugar in the normal range.

What Happens If I Don't Take My Medications As Prescribed? 

If you don’t take your medications as prescribed, your blood sugar can get too high, which is called hyperglycemia, OR it can lead to blood sugar that is too low, which is called hypoglycemia. Long term, uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to serious health problems like skin infections, vision problems, foot problems, kidney problems and nerve damage. Due to the serious and long term complications of high and low blood sugar, it is very important to take your medications as prescribed to keep your blood sugar in the right range.

Hyperglycemia (Blood Sugar Too High)

Causes of hyperglycemia:

  • Change or increase in food intake
  • Wrong or missed dose of medication
  • Emotional stress
  • Illness

Signs and Symptoms of hyperglycemia:

  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Dry skin


  • Check food intake
  • Take your medications as prescribed
  • Consider relaxation techniques
  • See your doctor if you are sick
  • Increase use of blood glucose monitoring 

Hypoglycemia (Blood Sugar Too Low)

Causes of hypoglycemia:

  • Meals or snacks that are too small, delayed, or skipped
  • Too much of a medication or new medication
  • Increased activity or exercise

Signs and Symptoms of hypoglycemia:

  • Hunger
  • Nervousness and shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Feeling anxious or weak


  • Check food intake
  • Take your medications as prescribed
  • Keep a quick source of sugar such as glucose tablets or gel with you at all times
  • Increase use of blood glucose monitoring

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