Module D: Pharmaceutical Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus

CE Credits: 2.5


This module looks at the range of pharmaceutical treatments for DM, beginning with the different kinds of oral anti-diabetes agents that can affect the way the body processes insulin or glucose. It also covers the different modes of insulin therapy, which is necessary for all T1DM patients, and often helpful for T2DM patients. The module details other agents (such as incretin mimetics, and counter-regulatory hormones) that can play a part in managing DM, and other drugs, taken for other conditions, which may impact a patient’s glucose and insulin levels. Finally, the module covers how CMs can most effectively educate patients about their medications.

Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Describe the seven categories of oral agents used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus and their key mechanisms of action
» Describe the classification of insulin products according to their onset and duration of action
» Describe three methods of administering insulin
» Describe how two other non-insulin therapies are used in diabetes management
» Describe how glucagon acts in the body to alleviate hypoglycemia
» Explain how drug side effects from non-diabetes medications can affect diabetes management
» Discuss the role of the clinical pharmacist in medication management
» Describe key components of patient education related to medication management

Advance your professional practice:: Since managing diabetes—from checking glucose levels to timing doses, snacks and meals—can be complicated and even overwhelming for patients, CMs need a firm grasp of the advantages, disadvantages and possible interactions among the wide variety of pharmaceutical treatments for DM. If we can help patients feel more confident about their own self-treatment, they will have better outcomes in the long run.


Improve organizational performance: Since under-treating or mismanaging DM can have serious consequences for patients—from experiencing dangerous hypoglycemia to making themselves vulnerable to other serious complications—it benefits patients and the care team to work together to encourage the most effective use of pharmaceutical treatments. Doing so can reduce the chances of negative outcomes and costly hospitalizations.