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Who Can Take Diabetes Pills?

Diabetes pills aren't for everyone with diabetes. They are effective only if your pancreas is still capable of producing insulin. This means that some people—those with type 1 diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes whose bodies have lost the ability to produce insulin—cannot use them.

The good news is that there are a number of new diabetes pills that have different sites of actions. Remember that type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance that can be present throughout the body, particularly in the liver, and the inability of the pancreas to make enough insulin to overcome that resistance.

Therefore, diabetes pills that work on each of these different problems can be combined. And for some individuals with type 2 diabetes, diabetes pills are even combined with insulin. This is done if the pancreas' ability to make insulin is reduced so much that additional supplements of insulin are needed. Overall the goal is to either help your body use its own insulin more effectively or give it extra if needed.

Find more information about diabetes in What You Need to Know about Diabetes – A Short Guide available from the Joslin Online Store.

Page last updated: October 25, 2014