Tips for Family and Friends: Medication

Here are some tips on how to be supportive if someone close to you takes medicine to manage his or her diabetes.

Recognize that setting a new routine is hard. Offer encouragement and recognize that taking insulin or diabetes pills is very important to improve health and prevent complications.

Be patient so your friend knows you don't mind waiting if it's time for an insulin shot or other diabetes medicine or to check his or her blood sugar level.

Offer gentle reminders about taking medications. It's important that people with diabetes take their medicines at consistent times throughout the day. They also need to time their medications with meals and exercise.

Learn about safe disposal for needles and syringes if your loved one is taking insulin shots.

Know the signs of low blood sugar and what to do about it. This is especially important if your family member or friend takes insulin or other medication to lower blood sugar.

Encourage your friend to talk about different options for medications with his or her doctor. It's important for your friend to know about possible side effects from certain medications and what to do about them.

Clinical review by David McCulloch, MD
Kaiser Permanente
Reviewed 03/01/2014