Do diabetes medications have to be taken at the same time every day?

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Q: Does it matter if dad takes his diabetes medicine at different times each day?

A: The secret of success in treating Diabetes is routine, routine, routine. Consistently consuming meals of a certain number of calories at consistent times, day after day. Also consistency with exercise helps keep the patient from experiencing the peaks and valleys with control of their blood sugar.

In that routine, your father should take his medications as consistently as possible. Getting everything off schedule only compounds the challenges on controlling the blood sugar.

Oral medications should be used consistently in relation to the meals that are consumed. If meals are missed it usually doesn't mean to miss or skip a dose of medication, but the patient needs to have a plan. This is where patients get into trouble, yo-yo blood sugars. This can really create problems for the other patient.

Those who use insulin on a sliding scale would be the only case where there should be changes in dosage times. SS insulin doses are based on the blood sugar levels the patients is experiencing.

Also, the Diabetic Scorecard, the A1C lab test evaluates the blood sugar control of the past several months; the target for the senior population is around 7. Different physicians have different targets depending of the overall health of the patient. The higher the number the less control over the past months. That lab result will tell you the impact of your dad taking his medications at different times.

Lynn Harrelson is a pharmacist who specializes in medication and prescription management for seniors. She provides health care services and information that help individuals remain independent in their homes, retirement and assisted living facilities.

Senior Pharmacy Solutions

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