Medication Safety and Diabetes

People with diabetes need to practice extra diligence with it comes to medication safety. The importance of taking the right the right the right time goes a long way toward keeping blood sugar at the proper levels.

Here are some medication tips for those with diabetes.

Always take the prescribed medications:

  • Take as directed on the label 

  • Do not skip doses

  • Take your medications until completion, especially antibiotics; diabetics are more prone to infections and have a harder time eliminating infections

Check your blood sugar levels:

  • Talk to your physician about your recommended testing frequency

Make a list of all the medications you take:

  • Be sure to include over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements
  • Keep the list with you at all times

Store your medications properly:

  • Keep unopened insulin in the refrigerator
  • Do not keep other medications in the refrigerator, unless indicated on the label 
  • Most medications should be stored at room temperature (55-78 degrees F)
  • Do not store medications in the bathroom, over the sink, above the stove, on a windowsill or anywhere near a heat source (including closets with ductwork running through them
  • Keep medications in a safe place away from children, in a drawer or cabinet with childproof locks

At least once a year, go through all your medications (including the over-the-counter medications):

  • Discard any you no longer take
  • Discard those that have expired or any you haven't used (after opening) in a year
  • Follow proper disposal guidelines from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, or take the medications back to your pharmacy

When you receive a new prescription from your physician, ask questions:

  • What is the name of the medication?
  • What is the medication used for?
  • When should I take the medication?
  • For how long should I take the medication?
  • What are the side effects of this medication?
  • What should I do, if I experience any of these side effects?
  • Can I safely take this medication with my other medications?
  • Do you have written information on this medication? 
  • Do you have written information on this medication in large print or in other languages?


Disclaimer: The information on this page was compiled by Duane Wesche, RPh-FACA, Missouri Baptist Medical Center pharmacist. This material provides general information only. It should not be used in place of the advice, instructions, or treatment given by your doctor or other health care professional.