Can I Ever Stop Taking My Diabetes Medications?

Q: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I am taking 10 mg of glipizide and 500 mg of metformin two times a day. My A1C was 12.5, however I have been feeling much better, and I even stopped taking the glipizide every morning. My blood glucose average is now 170. Is that good, or should I continue to take my glipizide every early morning?

A: Craig Williams, PharmD, responds: Unfortunately, the medications that are used to assist manage blood sugar in people with diabetes do not fix the underlying causes of the diabetes itself. As a result, the medications usually can not be stopped without losing the blood sugar control that they were providing.

Lifestyle changes can modify the need for long-term medications, and often make it possible for people to stop taking them altogether. For those who have actually lost a considerable amount of weight or have substantially increased their exercise regimens, it is not unusual to be able to reduce the doses of medications, or perhaps to try stopping medication for a duration. Reducing or stopping your therapies, nevertheless, must constantly be done under the supervision of your health care company.

Also read: Choose The Best Medications for Type 2 Diabetes

When we do stop therapies or reduce the doses that are used, our objectives for good control stay at an A1C of less than 7 percent, a fasting early morning blood glucose below 130 mg/dl, and random or post-prandial (after consuming) blood sugar levels not above 180. If those targets can be preserved with lower doses or no drugs at all, then it is safe to change your regimen. Due to the fact that your A1C and typical blood sugar are not in those varieties, you most likely have to start your medication again to attain better blood glucose control.

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