Chart of Other Medicines for People With Diabetes

This chart shows some of the medicines that are used to lower the chances for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease in people with diabetes.

Medicine Class Preferred Type Lab Tests Initial Dose Adverse Effects
ACE inhibitors
For prevention of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes kidney disease.
lisinopril (Zestril)
Serum creatinine and potassium for kidney function before starting drug. Repeat tests 2 weeks after starting drug.
Start: 5 mg or 10 mg once daily.
Target is 20 mg a day for persons without high blood pressure.
Dose may be higher for persons with high blood pressure.
Raised level of potassium and reduced kidney function.
Drug cough. Can try other ACE inhibitor; if no relief can try angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB).
For prevention of heart attack and stroke.
Beneficial even if cholesterol and lipids are normal.
simvastatin (Zocor)
Fasting lipid profile and liver function at 4-6 weeks after starting drug.
Annual fasting lipid profile tests for all strengths. Annual liver function if dose is higher than 40 mg or clinically indicated.
All patients aged 40 and older are possible candidates for 40 mg daily, or a lower dose for patients with decreased kidney function or drug interactions.
Dose may be higher to lower harmful cholesterol.
Muscle or joint pain, yellow skin, difficulty urinating.

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