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Diabetes Health Center

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Type 1 Diabetes - Medications


Insulin helps keep your blood sugar level tightly controlled and within a target range. It can be taken by an injection or through an insulin pump.

Usually people who have type 1 diabetes take a combination of types of insulin, such as a long-acting insulin once or twice a day and a rapid-acting insulin before each meal. The amount and type of insulin needed varies for each person.

The amount and type of insulin you need changes over time, depending on age, hormones (such as during rapid growth or pregnancy), and changes in exercise routine. You may need higher doses of insulin during times of illness or emotional stress.

Learn about insulin:

  • Know the dose of each type of insulin you take, when you take the doses, how long it takes for each type of insulin to start working (onset), when it will have its greatest effect (peak), and how long it will work (duration).
  • Never skip a dose of insulin without the advice of your doctor.
actionset.gif Diabetes: Giving Yourself an Insulin Shot
actionset.gif Diabetes: Living With an Insulin Pump

You may also take an amylinomimetic, such as pramlintide (Symlin). This medicine is only used with insulin, but it's given in a separate shot.


If small amounts of protein are found when your urine is tested, you may be in the early stage of diabetic nephropathy. You may be given an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB).

Daily aspirin

Talk to your doctor about whether you should take low-dose aspirin. Daily low-dose aspirin (81 milligrams) may help prevent heart problems if you are at risk for heart attack or stroke.

Medicines for other health problems

You may need one or more medicines to lower blood pressure.

You also may need to take medicine to lower your cholesterol.

Treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol may help prevent complications from diabetes.

You may need other medicines if you develop complications, such as kidney disease.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 29, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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