A while back, I got a comment on here asking if I'd accept guest posts. I said yes, if the guest post was relevant. This is the article written for this blog from drugwatch.com, a website that focuses on the risks in medications, and especially those that have been recalled. Although us type 1s do not really have much choice about taking insulin, I sometimes think we can use the reminder that it's not always a good idea to take other medications, or to advocate the use of medications in type 2 diabetes, even when it lowers blood sugar- there are worse things than high blood sugar. Anyways, here's the article. Please leave a comment if there's something you think somebody who is calling attention to the downsides of medications should know about diabetes.
The Benefits and Risks of Diabetes Medications
with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have similarities and differences when
it comes to their medications. People with type 1 diabetes rely mostly
on insulin injections, and people with type 2 diabetes are usually
prescribed oral medication to help manage the insulin their bodies still
Type 2 patients may require insulin at some point, as
well. And people with type 1 diabetes might use an oral medication like
an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor to slow the flow of sugar into the
bloodstream after a meal.
No matter which medication they take, people with diabetes must be familiar with the drug and possible side effects.
diabetes drugs are effective at controlling blood sugar. But they may
be too effective, causing hypoglycemia. Both type 1 and type 2 patients
need to be on the lookout for low blood sugar. Symptoms include:
* Shaking or trembling
* Blurry vision
* Rapid heartbeat
left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to fainting, seizure or coma.
When blood sugar drops, the best thing to do is to eat a piece of candy
or drink some regular soda.
Many patients require insulin, which
is one of the most powerful reducers of blood sugar. But when it is used
in higher amounts than it should be, it can lead to hypoglycemia.
a person fails to take enough insulin, however, their blood sugar
levels can rise dangerously high — a condition known as hyperglycemia.
Symptoms include: thirst, tiredness, frequent urination and an upset
stomach. It is often treated by exercising, but a doctor would know the
Actos is one of the most popular type 2 diabetes
medications, and can lower long-term blood sugar (measured by glycated
hemoglobin) by about 1.5 percent. It does this by making the cells more
receptive to insulin.
Unfortunately, Actos (pioglitazone) also
has been linked to serious side effects, including congestive heart
failure, bladder cancer and liver disease which has led some patients to
begin to file lawsuits. It has carried a black-box warning from the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2007.
The positives and
negatives of diabetes medications aren't always clear cut. It's
important for people with diabetes to look at medical studies about
diabetes drugs before they begin taking them. Look on FDA.gov to find a
drug's warning labels to fully understand its risks.
William Richards researches and writes about prescription drugs and medical devices for