woman grimacing with pills and alarm clock over blue background

Diabetes is a life-long chronic illness that requires vigilant care and regular medication. Missing a dose could cause trouble in a variety of ways, from making you feel a little “off” to leaving you hospitalized. If you’re newly diagnosed, you may have trouble taking your diabetes medication for a number of reasons. Here are seven reasons why people have trouble taking their diabetes medication and tips for helping you take them.

1. You don’t like the side effects

Most drugs will come with a few side effects, often very mild. It could be that your body needs time to adjust to the medication and the side effects will soon subside. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor about any side effects you have, especially if they are interfering with your daily life.

Tip: Track your side effects in a journal and talk with your doctor about them to determine if you should keep taking the medication or switch.

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2. It’s expensive

One major downside of diabetes care is the price. Between routine doctor visit, blood tests, and medication, you could be paying a pretty penny for your diabetes management. If you have trouble paying for your diabetes medication, here are a few tips.

Tip: Ask your doctor if there is a cheaper alternative for your diabetes medication, look online for drug discount coupons online, and call the drug manufacturer to see if any financial aid is available.

3. You’ve heard or read about people with bad experiences

Maybe your friend or family member has taken the diabetes medication you’ve been prescribed and they had a bad experience with it. Or maybe you read about the medication online after your doctor prescribed it and you don’t like what you read. Either way, it’s important to give the medication a chance to work because all bodies are different, and people will react differently to the same medication.

Tip: Give the medication a chance and track any side effects in a journal.

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4. You’re afraid of drug interactions

Any time you mix two or more medications, you run the possibility of having drug interactions. However, pharmacists and doctors are trained in this area and likely won’t prescribe you anything that will react with medications you’re already taking.

Tip: When picking up your prescription, ask your pharmacist if there are any drug interactions you should be aware of. Don’t forget to mention any non-prescribed drugs or supplements you’re taking.

5. You have difficulty swallowing pills

Some people find it difficult to swallow pills, especially if they’re larger. If liquid options are not available to you, here are a couple tips that may help.

Tip: Cut the pill in half, or ask your doctor if you can take a lower dosage and double up on smaller pills.

6. You don’t think the medication is helping

If you don’t see an immediate response to the drug, it can be discouraging and make you not want to continue with it. However, it’s important that you follow your doctor’s instructions and continue taking the medication. It could just be that your body needs a few days or weeks to see full results.

Tip: Keep taking the medication as advised and track in a journal any side effects, symptoms, and how the medication makes you feel.

7. You forget

Not taking your medication could simply come down to you not being able to remember it, especially if you have a busy life or are already taking several prescriptions. This could lead to you feeling a little ill or hospitalization, so it’s important that you remember to take your diabetes medication.

Tip: Sort your medication into a pill organizer, leave the medication in a visible place, and set an alarm on your phone to alert you when it’s time to take your diabetes medication.

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Kayla Pearce
Kayla Pearce is a Content Developer at Diabetic Nation in Memphis, TN. She has backgrounds in professional and creative writing and over a decade of experience in research and editing. She is deeply interested in literature, poetry, cats, and dessert.