Medication & Insulin

When you have type 2 diabetes, your blood glucose levels may be higher than normal because:

  • Your muscle and liver cells are resistant to the action of insulin
  • Your pancreas may not make enough insulin to control your blood glucose
  • Your liver makes too much glucose


Physical activity and healthy eating are the cornerstone treatment for type 2 diabetes. Due to the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes, most people will eventually need medication or insulin.

If you are prescribed medication or insulin for your diabetes, it is important that you understand:

  • How your medication works
  • What dose to take
  • When to take your medication
  • How often to take your medication
  • What to do if you miss a dose
  • If you are at risk of hypoglycaemia (low glucose levels) and how to treat it
  • How your medication should be stored
  • Possible side effects you may experience


Your doctor and/or pharmacist should be able to answer any questions that you have.

How will I know which medication is best for me?

Your doctor will make this decision based on your general health, other medication you may already be taking, how long you have had diabetes and how diabetes affects you.

If your blood glucose levels are not within the target range with one medication, then  another type of medication may be added. Sometimes two or even three medications may be needed. After having diabetes for some time many people with type 2 diabetes will also need insulin which may be added to your tablets or replace them.