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By learning the dangerous side effects of common diabetes drugs, asking your physician the right questions and utilizing internet resources, you can safely take your diabetes medications and avoid painful surprises.
Be aware of common safety concerns.
Sulfonylureas may cause heart problems.
Meglitinides should only be taken before meals.
Thiazolidiones may cause difficulty breathing, immediate weight gain and fluid retention — all possible indicators of heart failure.
Actos, which is in the thiazolidione class, may cause blood in the urine, a frequent need to urinate, urinary tract infections, and stomach and back pain — all possible indicators of bladder cancer.
This has led some patients to start filing an Actos lawsuit after receiving the prognosis of bladder cancer to help make the companies providing this drug fund their recovery.
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors should be taking at the beginning of meals and should not be used by people with intestinal diseases.
Talk to your doctor.
Whenever you get a new medication, ask your doctor about what you are taking and why you are taking it. You and your doctor together can determine if the medication you are prescribed is the best for you based on your weight, diet, exercise habits, current medications and pre-existing conditions.
Before you leave your appointment, make sure you have written down all of the following information for each prescription:
- Frequency of dosage
- How to take medication
- Best time to take medications
- How often to refill prescription
Once you get the medications, you will want to take the time to read not just the text on the medicine bottles and boxes, but also the paperwork that your pharmacy provides.
Although it may be a struggle to comprehend the medical terminology, you can make it easier by knowing which words apply to you. For instance, if you have had kidney problems in the past, be on the lookout for warnings that mention kidney or renal.
Research your medications online.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has a website where you can learn how your medications work, what their side effects are and possible dangerous interactions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has booklets and fact sheets on diabetes medication that you can print from their website. You can also use put the name of your medication in their search bar to find specific information.
The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) has a dictionary where you can put in both medications and words associated with medications that are unfamiliar to you.
By being informed about the medications you take, you can avoid adding unforeseen pitfalls like Actos side effects to the pressure of managing diabetes. And always, always, ask questions.
Author bio: Barb Stephens is a writer for Drugwatch.com. She uses her medication knowledge to help inform consumers about potential risks involved with certain medications and to help promote overall drug safety.