Pills to Insulin...crossing over the bridge

I have been on Metformin for 8 years, up to 2000 mg per day. Then the doc added glimerpride, two times per day and then recently actos, 4 mg two times per day. Still my glucose levels were high at 280 ea morning. My A1c went from 7.0 up to 7.6 in these last 3 months. So…

Last week I went back to the Doc and said "No, I don’t want to try Byetta " as he suggested last visit, just put me on insulin. So I started taking 10 ml of Lantus in the evening. For the last six mornings, since starting this injectable insulin, my blood testing strips have read 99-104 every morning. I’m so excited and wonder why he didn’t put me on this a while back.

Anyway…he still has me on all the meds as well, and said he would more than likely be weaning me off some of the meds within the month…any one have similar experiences?

I did not do well on the pills so my doctor started me on shots. I had only been diagnosed about 6 months when I was put on insulin shots. Shots are alot easier for me than the pills. I say do what ever it takes to get your sugar levels down.

Hi Diane,
My doctor started me on pills also. After a month of no improvement he started the Byetta shots. I was already in kidney failure by the time they finally diagnosed my diabetes. Long story there. Anyway after about three weeks I had to call and tell the doctor that I thought the kidney failure was worse. We did blood work and found that to be true. Now I am on Humalog insulin during the day and a shot of Lantus at night before bed. I feel a great deal better and my blood sugars are doing much better. The pills and Byetta gave me extremely bad side effects. I think that for some of us type 2’s our insulin that we make is almost completely unavailable to us no matter what they give us to help it. I am very grateful for the insulin. Everything seems a lot more controllable now. I also believe that the doctors are forced by the insurance companys to try the pills on us first. I have no ideas what time line they use though.

Thanks for your reply. I have been on pills way too long…and I havent had insurance any of the time. Right now I’m wondering how much it will be to continue with the shot pens of insulin. But whatever it costs I just have to bear it.

Im glad the humalog and long term insulin are helping you. It is a blessing when you see that blood sugar come down. It feels so helpless at times when you try so hard and the pills just dont do. it.

God bless.

I am only on pills right now, but may take Byetta to help get weight and BG down.

As for drug prices, I also have no insurance. I signed up for this program:

Free for first year. Get 1/2 to 2/3 savings off of regular prescription price.

Hello Dirk, thanks for the link, I’ll try to let you know what happens. It really rotten in this day and age not to have insurance. Wish there was something we could do about it.

good luck on the Byetta. Let me know how that works for you. I’d really be interested. Thanks

Same for me. The pills made me so sick, I went a year on pills and was hospialized often for dehydration related to nausea and diarrhea from the medications

Check and see if Sanofi-aventis has a non insured program for their medication. Most of the drug companies have some sort of program where you can get your medication from them either at no cost or reduced cost.

David Mendose (www.mendosa.com) told me he was publishing a book on his experience on Byetta this year. Be on the lookout for it.

I currently am taking metformin hcl 500 mg 2x daily. I am hoping that, with me getting 1 hour of exercise daily now each morning, to have my weight down a little more by Feb. 1, 2008, when I go to the doctor to get my A1c test done. I currently weigh 310, am 6’1" and need to get down to 185 lb. Imagine - 2 years ago (Jan. 1, 2005) I weighed in at 375. Last year I started on 1-1-07 with 325 and only made it down to 318 by the time I was diagnosed with T2 Diabetes.

Dirk, I looked up the site pricing on a few meds and they are comparable to Wal Mart.

Now as far as you go…hey thats alot big challenge losing all that weight. My husband just weighed himself today came in at 303lbs and he says he feels like the pillsbury dough boy and is comfortable at 235lbs and he is 6.1. I sincerely wish you strength and health on your journey to exercise one hour each a.m. this along with eating…good and healthy foods will do more for you than any of the pills…unfortunately we still rely on the meds. One thing I will say though after 8 years on pills (and I’m still on them), I started Lantus long acting insulin 5 days ago in the evening and my blood sugar is way down.

So keep encouraged, be aware of how you feel in your skin…keep a daily diary if you need to. God Bless.

Thanks so much Cody for the idea. I will write this down somewhere and followup on it.

What pills were you taking that made you nausueas and dehydrated??? And what are you currently taking?

Metformin, I current take 10 units of Lantus at bedtime, 60 units of Lantus at breakfast, 45 of Symlin and Humalog at breakfast and 35 of Symlin and Humalog at lunch and dinner. The reason my Lantus is split up is because I was bottoming out in middle of night and rebounding with a massive high in the morning, but since my Dr. has split it, it works a lot better and I stay more stable in the mornings.

Thank you for your answer. This at least gives me an slight education on what I might be facing in the future as far as insulin and control. I’m on so many meds and the doc will be weaning me off them and increasing the insulin within the next few weeks.

Thanks again.

Hi Diane. I just joined TuDiabetes. I had been on oral meds since 1999. My original doctor didn’t hound me about my diabetes because my husband was very sick. I couldn’t handle taking care of my husband( many health problems - on the job injury in 1993, over 20 surgeries, stroke in 1999, CHF, sleep apnea, COPD, staff infections etc.) , me working full time and trying to handle my own health problems. My husband passed away on January 16, 2006. I finally got serious about diabetes January of 2007 and got a new doctor. She agreed to keep me on Glucophage, Glucotrol and Avandia. Then in July of 2007, she started me on Byetta and continued Glucophage. Byetta made me very sick. I stayed on it for 3 weeks and she then took me off Byetta and started levemir and actos along with Glucophage. My blood sugars are still in the 200+ range, so now she’s sending me to an endocrinologist.

I have had to deal with trial and error also. Keep an open mind and keep trying new things until you find out what works for you and your body. If something does not work for you then change it.

Doctors don’t put people on insulin because people are afraid of it, and because it takes more work on the doctor’s part to get the doses right.

If you are getting that good numbers with the relatively low dose of lantus, you probably aren’t all that insulin resistant and you probably have defective insulin secretion.

I LOVE insulin. I had to fight to get it. It’s the only drug that works for me because my problem is insulin secretory defect, not insulin resistance.

I urge you to read Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, which will give you a lot of insight into the correct way to use insulin–insight many doctors do not have when treating folks with Type 2. Even if you don’t do his diet, you can learn a huge amount about how your blood sugar works and how insulin works from that book.

Best of luck!

Hi, don’t know when u posted but here goes.
Been t2 since or dx’d since 2002. Pills only, now 5 yrs later on lantus 30 units at bedtime, and all meds except
for medformin have been illiminated. Dr started me on exubra (powdered insulin for meal boluses). Now exubra
has been dicontinued. I’ll either have to take injection for meals or exactually wanting to go on the pump.

I guess u can say i’m a t2 insulin dependent. Going to the endo feb 28. Waiting for that.


Hit Sandy and welcome to the group. I joined not that long ago, and am so happy to be able to share information back and forth. It helps to have a sounding board that you know will be here.

You must have insurance…I don’t and I see a physicians assistant, who is very knowledageable and nice but who perhaps doesnt have the “specialists” skills I need. However, his logic makes sense to me and I know my body pretty well.

I got up one morning here a couple days ago and my blood sugar was 82, needless to say I knew an adjustment needed to be made, so I took myself down on my glucophage from 2000 mg to 1000 mg. Also yesterday I felt really shaky while outside with my husband, and came inside, took my sugar levels, and it was 62 ! So last night I also deleted taking Actos as well. I woke up this morning and my b.s. was 132 so I’ll see what else goes on. I used to wake ea morning with b.s. of 270+ before taking 10ml of Lantus at bedtime. So I really like the insulin and my Phys. Asst said he wanted to wean me down on the oral meds anyway, but obviously I couldnt wait that long.

An endocrinologist should be excellent…just remember to listen to yourself and own instincts as well. I’ve learned that most doctors either use you as a guinea pig or they want to know whats wrong with you and then treat you by what you say is wrong with you.

Anywho best of luck and have a super week till we talk again.

Hi Jenny, its Diane here. You are so right that people are afraid, it took me 3 years to get over my fear of dependancy on it, before realizing I was dependent on oral meds as it was and THEY weren’t working! I really appreciate your referral to a book that I can read (Dr Bernstein) and will see if I can find it.
so do you take any oral meds in addition to the insulin?

Thanks for the reply and I look forward to hearing from you again. Take care and best to you too.

Hi Dick,
What other meds were you on besides Metformin that have been eliminated? Isnt Lantus a long acting insulin and isnt Metformin long acting too?

Anywho, Jenny here in Tu Diabetes recommended reading a book by Dr. Bersteins his Diabetic Solution, so I’m going to look it up and see what I can learn.

Its great having this forum to talk with different people and find out their personal experiences on meds.
Thanks for your ideas and participation and have a good day . God Bless.