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When Should You Change Your Type 2 Diabetes Treatment?
Change is unavoidable — and diabetes treatment is no exception. Most people with diabetes need a different medication at some point. What works in the beginning may not work forever. It’s important to understand why and how your treatment might change.
Disease May Progress
One key reason for a change is that type 2 diabetes is progressive, meaning it can be more difficult to manage with time. This seems to happen faster in younger people and those who gain weight.
Medicines Become Less Effective with Time
Sometimes an oral medication may not be as effective for you after several months or years. It’s not always clear why this happens. Oral medications work in different ways, so there are alternatives available to you. If your hemoglobin A1c (a blood test that measures long-term blood sugar control) becomes too high, your doctor may add another oral medication, add insulin, or increase your insulin dose.
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“A1C and eAG.” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/a1c/.
“Association of an Intensive Lifestyle Intervention with Remission of Type 2 Diabetes.” E.W. Gregg et al. Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 308, pp. 2489–96. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23288372.
“Can Diabetes Pills Help Me?” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/oral-medications/can-diabetes-pills-help-me.html.
“Defining and Characterizing the Progression of Type 2 Diabetes.” V.A. Fonesca. Diabetes Care. Vol. 32, supplement 2, pp. S151–56. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2811457/.
“What About Insulin?” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/what-about-insulin.html.
“What Are My Options?” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/oral-medications/what-are-my-options.html.