Non-Insulin Injectable FAQ

by Yumhee Park Content Producer

Considering non-insulin injectables can be a scary step for many type 2 diabetes patients. You might wonder about trying other pills. But if your doctor has brought up non-insulin injectables, think of them as a faster, arguably more convenient way of managing your diabetes. Here are some questions you might have with the answers you need.

Injection pens.

What are non-insulin injectable medications?

Non-insulin injectable medications encourage the body’s natural functions to produce more insulin or to use insulin more effectively. They may be prescribed when oral medications have become less effective in managing blood glucose.

Human Gallbladder and Pancreas Anatomy.

How do they work?

There are a number of different types of non-insulin injectables. Newer forms of this drug mimic a hormone called amylin, which is a hormone that helps the body control blood glucose levels. Other types stimulate the pancreas to trigger insulin releases when blood glucose levels rise.

Doctor's hand on a patient's shoulder.

Does using non-insulin injectables mean I’ve failed at managing my diabetes properly?

Diabetes, by nature, is a progressive disease. While there are steps you can take to better manage your condition, it’s important to know diabetes affects each person uniquely, and each person needs to treat it in a way that works best for them. For many people with type 2, over time, diabetes pills may stop working and that’s when non-insulin injectables may need to be considered, along with other treatment plans – but that does not necessarily mean you have failed in diabetes management.

Person's feet on bathroom scale.

What are the potential side effects of using non-insulin injectables?

There are both potentially good and bad side effects of using non-insulin injectables. Common ones include nausea and vomiting. A possible good side effect is weight loss. Read about the facts on the side effects of non-insulin injectables, here.

Woman holding a clock.

How often do you have to take injections?

This depends. Older non-insulin injectables need to be taken twice a day before breakfast and dinner, while some need to be taken once a day. Newer non-insulin injectables are more attractive as they only require an injection once a week – much more convenient than remembering pills or twice a day injections.

Diabetic using injection pen.

Is it difficult to give yourself injections?

Many non-insulin injectables come in a convenient and easy-to-use pen, to make it easier to administer. Fear of pain or messing up is natural, and we have resources to help, such as a step by step guide on how to do the injection as well as some information on a tool that may ease the pain.

Yumhee Park
Meet Our Writer
Yumhee Park

Yumhee Park is a former content producer for HealthCentral and helped bring important stories of health advocates to life as a member of the Live Bold, Live Now multimedia team.