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Diabetes: Ways to Take Medicine

There are many kinds of diabetes medicines. Some medicines can be swallowed. Others have to be injected. Otherwise, they would be broken down in the stomach before reaching the bloodstream. Some medicines, such as insulin, can be taken in more than one way. The main ways of taking medicine for diabetes are shown below.

  • Oral medicines (pills)


Pill bottles and pills.

  • Injections (shots given using a syringe or pen-like device)


Insulin pen and syringe.

  • Insulin pumps (devices that can deliver a steady amount of insulin 24 hours a day)


Insulin pump.

  • Inhalation devices (devices that deliver insulin by inhaling it)



Online Medical Reviewer: Hurd, Robert, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2016
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