Medicines for type 1 diabetes-related health problems

People with type 1 diabetes often have other health problems as well, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which means they are at greater risk of the complications of diabetes, such as blood clots and heart attack or stroke. So, even when you are using insulin to control your diabetes, you may also need to take medicines for these conditions, as well as adopting lifestyle changes.

The medicines people might need to take for type 1 diabetes-related problems include:

  • aspirin to prevent heart and circulatory (cardiovascular) problems
  • medicines to lower fats (triglycerides) and cholesterol in the blood
  • medicines to treat high blood pressure.

Controlling high blood pressure is as important as controlling blood sugar

One of the common complications of diabetes is vascular disease, which affects the large and small blood vessels (arteries) that carry blood around the body. Vascular disease can affect your sight, your kidney function and your nerves. If you have diabetes and high blood pressure, your risk of getting vascular disease is much higher than people without diabetes (up to six times higher).

It is therefore very important to make sure your blood pressure is well controlled to lower your risk of getting vascular disease. You can do this by:

Your doctor may also recommend that you take medicines to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol.

Managing multiple conditions can mean that you are taking several medicines. So understanding how to manage your diabetes medicine (injected insulin) well and what help is available can help you feel more in control of your health.

Phone for medicines information

Call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) to get information about your prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines from a pharmacist.

  • Craig ME, Twigg SM, Donaghue KC, et al for the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Guidelines Expert Advisory Group. National evidence-based clinical care guidelines for type 1 diabetes in children, adolescents and adults. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, 2011. (accessed 15 November 2011).
  • Rossi S, ed. eAMH [online]. Adelaide: Australian Medicines Handbook, July 2012.
  • Sweetman S, ed. Martindale: The complete drug reference [online]. London: Pharmaceutical Press. (accessed 18 October 2011).
  • Baxter K, ed. Stockley's drug interactions: A source book of interactions, their mechanisms, clinical importance and management. 9th edn. London: Pharmaceutical Press, May 2010. (accessed 18 October 2011).
  • The relevant consumer medicine information and product information have been consulted for every medicine discussed.