What is the best time to take Diabetes Medication (Drugs and Injections)

This article aims to help clear your doubts about the common questions asked regarding diabetes medication. “When to take diabetes medicines?”, “Should they be taken before or after meals?” Go through this article to find answers.

Anti diabetic drugs (tablets) Time of administration
Glimepiride* 30 min before meals
Gliclazide IR 30 min before meals
Gliclazide XR After meals
Glipizide IR 30 min before meals
Glipizide XR After meals
Metformin IR/XR** After meals
Acarbose/Voglibose*** Before meals
Pioglitazone No regard to meals
Sitagliptin/Linagliptin/Vildagliptin/Teneligliptin No regard to meals
Repaglinide# Before meals
Empagliflozin/Dapagliflozin/Remogliflozin No regard to meals
Canagliflozin## 30 min before meals

* Glimepiride efficacy reduced by 10% if taken after meals

** Metformin is given after meals to reduce stomach upset

*** these drugs lose their efficacy drastically if taken after meals as their mechanism is to reduce intestinal glucose absorption from ingested food.

# short acting insulin secretory agents and always recommended to be taken before meals.

## has an added effect of slowing gastric emptying thereby reducing postprandial glucose levels in addition to their classic urinary glucose excretion.

note: efficacy meaning – the ability to produce a desired or intended result.

Subcutaneous Injections Time of administration
Inj Liraglutide * No regard to meals, same time of day
Inj Dulaglutide** No regard to meals, once weekly, same time of time
Inj Exenatide*** Before meals, once daily
Inj Degludec## No regard to meals, once daily,
8h – 40hrs flexible with time of dosing
Inj Lispro/Aspart/Glulisine Insulins 15 min prior to meals to 5 min after meals
Inj FiASP# insulin 5 min prior to meals to 20 min after meals
Inj Glargine Insulin U100/U300### No regard to meals, same time of the day
Inj Regular Insulin 30 – 60 min before meals
Inj NPH Insulin No regard to meals, twice daily per day equally spaced
In NPH-Regular premix Insulin 30 – 60 min before meals, once or twice daily
Inj NPH-Aspart/Lispro premix Insulin
####(30/70, 50/50, 25/75, 70/30)
15 min prior to meals to 5 min after meals, once or twice daily
Inj NPH Insulin No regard to meals, twice daily per day equally spaced
Inj Degludec – Aspart Co-formulation Insulin 15 min prior to meals to 5 min after meals, once or twice daily
Inj Degludec – Liraglutide Co-formulation Insulin No regard to meals, once daily, same time of the day

* Liraglutide is once daily GLP-1 agonist with predominant effect on fasting BG

** Dulaglutide is once weekly GLP-1 agonist with predominant effect on FPG

*** Exenatide is once daily GLP-1 agonist with primary effect on postprandial BG

# More flexible in children and elderly as can be given upto 20 min post meals

## Basal insulin with most flexibility and least glucose variability

### U300 Glargine can be taken upto 3hrs before/after the previous day dose timing

#### can be given thrice daily in some patients who deny basal bolus therapy, efficacy almost similar to basal bolus therapy (4 injections per day)

note: efficacy meaning – the ability to produce a desired or intended result.

when to take diabetes medication

when to take diabetes injections

+ References
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