The Facts about Diabetes Medications

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If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be prescribed an oral drug to help you maintain your blood glucose levels. In addition to the diabetes medication, most people also have to alter their diet and ensure they are following a regular exercise routine. We’re going to discuss some of the diabetes medications currently available.

First of all, type 2 diabetes is caused in the following two situations:

  • 1.The cells become resistant to insulin
  • 2.The pancreas fails to produce sufficient quantities of insulin

Your doctor can determine which is the most suitable diabetes medication to prescribe, depending on the cause of your type 2 diabetes. A simple blood test will determine which of the two categories you fall under.

Biguanides

This kind of diabetic medication helps insulin transfer glucose into various cells of your body. Examples of Biguanides include Fortament, Riomet, Glumetza and Glucophage. Anyone who has a history of heart or kidney problems should not take this kind of medication, as they may suffer serious medical complications as a result.

Sulfonylureas

This type of oral drug includes Glynase, DiaBeta, Amaryl, Micronase and Glucotrol. They work by stimulating the pancreas to produce and release additional insulin which helps to reduce blood glucose levels.

Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors

This type of diabetes medication blocks the enzymes that assist in digesting starches. This retards the increase in blood glucose levels. However, you should note that one of the common side effects caused by alpha-glucosidase inhibitors such as Glyset and Precose is diarrhea and gas.

Thiazolidnediones

Drugs such as Avandia and Actos belong to this drug class, and they improve the effectiveness of insulin in the body. The drugs work by preventing the liver from releasing excess insulin. This type of diabetes medication also makes the insulin more effective in fat and muscle. Thiazolidinediones are very effective in managing type 2 diabetes, but your doctor must conduct periodic blood tests to ensure they do not cause damage to your liver.

Meglitinides

Meglitinides such as Starlix and Prandin lowers blood glucose levels by stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin.

In addition to the above medications, various combinations that include two different types into one pill are also available. You should consult with your doctor to determine which type of type 2 diabetes medication is best for you.


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