Sugar Matters
October 19, 2007
Myths, facts about diabetes Pt:8

Myth #8-”This diabetes medicine worked for my husband/cousin/neighbour, so it is the best one for me”-NOT NECESSARILY TRUE

Think about it: despite the general desire we have to not “be different”, each person is unique.{{more}} Even though you and your neighbor went through school together, eat the same things, wear the same clothes, and think the same thoughts, you are not the same person. So the medication that works for her/him may not be the best for you.

You might be saying, “ But why did Doc choose to talk about this anyway? I KNOW that I am different from so-and-so.”

The reason I chose this is because it keeps coming up in my clinic and some doctors have said this to me as well (“her sister is taking blah-blah-blah, so maybe we should try that first”). And this sneaks up on people. How many of you ran out of medicine and decided just to take one or two of your husband’s/wife’s blood pressure pills until you get your own medication from the pharmacy? Be honest! I can’t tell you the number of times I hear this one: “Well my medication was not working but my cousin says this one is good, so I took a couple of his pills.” I had a husband and wife couple coming to my clinic who just decided to SHARE all their medicines: one for you, one for me. I was so horrified by that, it was hard to stop myself from falling over in disbelief. It is so strange to me how some people feel like medicine is the root of all evil, and others treat it as if they are just exchanging some sweeties.

First lesson: Safety. You need to be prescribed certain medications. Someone has to know what the medications can do to YOU, taking into consideration all the other aspects of your life and human self. Even blood pressure pills that sound and look alike do not necessarily work exactly the same way. So please, PLEASE do not assume safety in “just trying” a medication that belongs to someone else. It is a very bad idea and possibly could harm you. You certainly should ask your doctor about a medication you think may be good for you, no problem there. And perhaps he/she will agree it is a good option and then prescribe it.

Second: give yourself some credit! You are unique in this world, so someone should take the time to go over your health and your history to decide what is best for you. It may turn out to be the same as your cousin’s, but it may not. There are many choices in diabetes medications(and probably ten times as many choices for blood pressure pills), so the pill(s) that work best for you may take some trial and error to find. But your health is worth the effort.

So please, no more doling out shared medications “one for you, one for me” at breakfast time!

Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227