The Importance Of Medication Management In The Treatment Of Diabetes
Medication management is so important that it can be the difference between life and death for some patients, especially for diabetics.
Each year, more than 125,000 people die in America because they did not follow instructions when taking their medications. Studies show more than half of the people with prescriptions for chronic diseases and conditions take their medications incorrectly, if at all. Patients who do not adhere to treatment plans put themselves at risk for additional health concerns, and even death. Medication management is particularly important for those with diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease affecting the pancreas and its ability to produce or respond to insulin. Diabetes causes increased blood glucose levels. Having excess glucose in the blood can lead to serious health concerns involving the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. There are two types of diabetes:
- Type-1 Diabetes – Occurs when the body has a complete lack of insulin. Without it, cells are unable to produce energy because they cannot absorb glucose.
- Type-2 Diabetes – Occurs when the body produces an insufficient amount of insulin and cannot use it effectively. As diabetes progresses, the pancreas produces less insulin and increases the risk of insulin deficiency.
Diabetes also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and amputations. Although there is not a cure for diabetes, with lifestyle changes and medication treatment, it is possible to manage the disease.
Individuals suffering from diabetes have a higher chance of being admitted to hospitals if they deviate from specific treatment plans or do not take their prescribed medication. Uncontrolled diabetes, specifically Type-2 diabetes, can lead to a long battle of health issues including:
- Kidney disease
- Dental issues
- Neuropathy, or nerve damage in the hands and feet
- Body amputations
The Importance of Compliance
Adhering to treatment plans involves taking all medications as prescribed and on time. Some medications have a timed release, and doctors have crafted a specific dosage schedule to manage blood glucose levels. Any deviation from this schedule can alter a patient’s blood sugar levels, possibly causing life-threatening consequences. Also, following a treatment plan increases the effectiveness of medication. Skipping doses can affect how the body responds to a prescription.
Doctors urge that diabetic patients follow their prescribed treatment plans. Invokana — along with Farxiga, Glyxambi, and Jardiance — is a new SGLT2 inhibitor medication that lowers blood glucose levels in Type-2 diabetes patients. These sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors prevent glucose from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. In combination with exercise and a balanced diet, Type-2 diabetes patients can lead healthier lives and decrease the risk of medical complications.
Medication Management Tips
There are often many reasons why patients fail to comply with medical treatment plans. However, skipping doses can drastically affect a patient’s health. All patients, regardless of the medication they take, should follow these tips for proper medication management:
- Ask Questions – Don’t be shy about talking with your care provider. If you do not understand how to take your prescription or if you are experiencing side effects, consult with your physician.
- Take What is Prescribed – Do not skip doses or double-up on medication. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist if and when you should take it next. This ensures your medication works effectively.
- Set Reminders – If you are consistently missing doses, set some reminders to stay on track. Do what you can to establish healthy habits and incorporate your treatment plan into a daily routine.
- Drug Affordability – Medication can be expensive. If you are having financial troubles or can not afford to fill your prescriptions, consult with your doctor or pharmacist and your insurance provider on alternatives.
Of course, it is always recommended to do further research into the medications that you are taking. The internet has many excellent resources to search for more information. Drugwatch.com is one example of an online destination that can help you answer questions about your medication.
Also, the executive team at Hibernian Home Care is comprised of a Pharmacist and Registered Nurse. They specialize in medication management and reconciliation in the home, the best place to improve compliance, especially for people with diabetes. To learn more about our patient specific Home Care services throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties of New Jersey, reach out to us at 732-481-1148 or fill out our Contact Us page.