Medications

Many people with Type 2 diabetes take medications. These medications may be taken instead of or even in addition to insulin. Below you’ll find a list of common medications.

  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. These function in order to slow the breakdown of starches in the intestine, stunting the rise in blood glucose that occurs after eating. This medication should be taken with the first bite of a meal.
    • Possible side effects: digestive problems (gas and/or diarrhea).
    • Medications available: Acarbose (Precose) and Miglitol (Glyset).
  • Bromocriptine (Cycloset). Lowers blood glucose. Taken once daily in the morning with food. Begin treatment with one tablet, then increase by one tablet every week until maximum dose of 2–6 tablets taken once daily. Unlikely to cause hypoglycemia or contribute to weight gain. No adjustment needed for patients with renal impairment. Proven cardiovascular safety.
    • Possible side effects: Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, and headache. People taking Dopamine Antagonists or those with psychological disorders should not take Cycloset.
  • Exenatide (Byetta). Helps stimulate insulin production. Injected twice daily within an hour before you ingest your morning and evening meals.
    • Possible side effects: Nausea, weight loss, and sometimes possibly acute pancreatitis; which is a dangerous inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Linagliptin (Tradjenta). Helps lower blood glucose by helping the body increase its levels of insulin after meals. This is taken by mouth once daily. Unlike other DPP-4 inhibitors, Llinagliptin is not excreted through the kidneys. It may not need any dose adjustments in those with kidney disease.
    • Possible side effects: Low blood glucose and stuffy or runny nose with involving a sore throat.
  • Liraglutide (Victoza). Stimulates insulin production. This should be Injected once daily.
    • Possible side effects: Nausea, weight loss, and possibly acute pancreatitis; which is a dangerous inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Meglitinides. Increases insulin production in the pancreas. Needs to be taken before all three daily meals.
    • Possible side effects: Hypoglycemia.
    • Medications available: Nateglinide (Starlix) and Repaglinide (Prandin).
  • Metformin. Will decrease the liver’s glucose output and also increases the muscles’ glucose uptake. Should be taken one to three times daily. Extended-release (XR) formulations can be taken once daily.
    • Possible side effects: Nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea. Should not be taken by persons with decreased kidney function or other specific medical conditions.
    • Medications available: Metformin (Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet).
  • Saxagliptin (Onglyza). Helps lower blood glucose by helping the body increase the level of insulin after meal intake. Take by mouth once each. Unlikely to cause hypoglycemia.
    • Possible side effects: Headache, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection. Swelling or fluid retention may worsen in people who also take a thiazolidinedione medication.
  • Pramlintide Acetate (Symlin). An injected medication that can reduce a person’s insulin requirement. Much like lab-produced insulin, Symlin is an analogue of a naturally occurring hormone – released by the beta cells in the pancreas and helps with blood glucose control. This is also approved for those with Type 1 diabetes.
    • Possible side effects: Nausea is most common.
  • Sitagliptin (Januvia). Helps stimulate insulin production in the pancreas. Should be taken once a day. Unlikely to cause hypoglycemia.
    • Possible side effects: Allergic reactions, including rare skin rashes.
  • Sulfonylureas. Will help stimulate insulin production iny the pancreas. Generally taken once or twice daily before each meal.
    • Possible side effects: Hypoglycemia. May also be affected by alcohol.
    • Medications available: Glimepiride (Amaryl), Glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase).
  • Thiazolidinediones. These are often called TZDs. They are taken to enhance the action of the body’s own insulin in muscle and fat. It also reduces glucose production in the liver. Taken with or without a meal.
    • Possible side effects: Water retention, weight gain, congestive heart failure, and on occasion – bone fractures. Rosiglitazone (Avandia) may actually increase heart attack risk.
    • Medications available: Pioglitazone (Actos) and Rosiglitazone (Avandia).

More Topics

0FansLike
39FollowersFollow
1SubscribersSubscribe

Tools & Resources