More education helps diabetics stick to treatment plans

While tremendous strides have been made in the last couple of decades in medications for treating type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, these advancements mean nothing if patients are unwilling or unable to following instructions for taking these drugs.

Given the fact that there is currently no cure for diabetes, patients must take their medications every single day for the rest of their lives. This can be a daunting challenge, and many individuals back off their treatment routines over time. However, a new study from the University of California, San Diego has found that educating patients on the drugs they are taking may help them stick to treatment plans.

The team reported in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy that they surveyed more 1,200 diabetics, most of whom had type 2 diabetes, about their medication routines. More than 86 percent of these individuals said that they had to take medication at least two times every day.



While most participants reported sticking to treatment regimens faithfully, others said that they need more motivation to stay on top of their condition. The three most commonly cited motivating factors that participants were looking for were assurance that medications are effective at lowering blood sugar levels, knowledge of how to manage potential side effects and better understanding of the drugs' benefits.



The researchers said that providing patients with this knowledge could be an extremely simple way to increase the number of individuals with diabetes who adhere to prescribed treatment regimens.

"To empower patients to overcome medication adherence barriers, we conclude that pharmacists are well-positioned to provide more proactive and thorough counseling sessions to include education of how diabetes drugs work and why they are so important," said Candice Morello, who led the study.
 
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