Switching From an Oral Medication to an Injectable
Thank you to our awesome community members for being so open and sharing your treatment experiences with us! It is very clear that the road of figuring out medication for type 2 diabetes is a personal journey and experiences range from good and great, to awful and terrible.
In general, those that shared their experiences of switching to an injectable, or adding injectables, seemed to report positives results. Here are themes from what was shared by our community members on our Facebook page when asked “Has anyone switched from oral medication to an injectable medication?” Please make sure to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider before making any changes to your medication regimen.
I made the switch to an injectable
Many of our community members have made the switch from oral medications to injectable medications of varying brands and instructed frequencies and doses. Overall, people reported feeling good after making the switch, but in some cases, it required a little adjustment and patience.
"Orals worked for a year then needed to make the switch. Feeling good and numbers are right where they should be."
“An extra bonus, besides the lower blood sugar, experiencing weight loss.”
"Yes - good though I had to get use to when and how much to dose"
“I was pretty ill, at first... but I stuck with it because it was really helping my A1c. I lost a little weight too! - it was a couple months... still have some nausea at times...but I guess I’m used to it now.”
“It took a couple weeks as I needed to adjust to the itch, lump under the skin and than a bruise. I feel good, and having zero issues.”
One community members was already on an injectable but had to find another one that worked better for them:
"Moved from oral and daily injectable to weekly injectable and am feeling great."
Another community member mentioned the emotional hurdles they had to overcome but are now feeling great:
"Being realistic with myself...denial was a big thing for me.”
Have you ever taken an injectable?
I'm now taking an oral and injectable
A number of community members reported going from just an oral medication to oral and injectable medication. For the most part, they commented they were feeling very good and were experiencing better blood sugar levels.
“The I weekly injection is what really got me in control and staying steady - had zero problems doing injections, other than dealing with insurance being so strict and ridiculous about dispensing my Rx. I do have a medical background and training so injections are not new to me.”
One community member had to switch due to side effects from certain medications, but now feels much better:
“I’m still working on getting my numbers where they need to be but no side effects.”
My A1c improved!
A lower A1c was a huge benefit that many community members experienced after their switch to an injectable medication.
“I finally got my type 2 consistently under control when I switched to an insulin pump and CGM 😊 My A1c went from 12 to 6”
“Lots better!! My A1C went from 11.8 to 5.6 in 3 months. Yes strict diet and exercise too."
“My AC1 is 6.7 I walk everyday 20 to 40 minutes”
“My A1c in the past was from various from 8 to 9 but now is 7% I'm very happy with the results and so is my doctor.”
Also focusing on diet and exercise
Diet and exercise are a big part of type 2 diabetes management and staying healthy. One community member mentioned in addition to their injectable switch they are also eating clean with mostly whole foods and exercising regularly which has helped lower their blood sugar and help them lose weight.
Another community member mentioned they have been on an injectable:
“...for almost 10 years it works great with diet and exercise. I lost a lot of weight.”
The importance of the doctor/patient relationship
Having a good relationship with your doctor can make discussing and adjusting your medication plan much easier. It's also important to discuss the affordability of medication with your doctor. You can ask about payment options if insurance won’t cover it, including if they know of any manufacturer coupons.
A couple of people shared bad experiences they had with their doctors, where they didn't get the medication they needed or couldn't find a medication that worked for them.
One community member offered this advice:
“Do whatever your doctor recommends & be completely honest with your doctor.”
I have not had to switch to injectables
Injectables may not be for everyone, especially depending on where you are in your journey with diabetes.
“Still on (2) oral medications. Be on it for years. I’m doing okay, just kinda watch what I eat.”
“Not yet but I will be on them soon.”
A few community members mentioned they have not yet had to make the switch and they are thankful for that. If you feel the same way, you are not alone. But if it ever comes to a point that your diabetes plan requires injectables, here are tips for injections and understanding the change in your plan.
What has your experience been? Have you recently switched to a new medication?
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?