Oral Medications For Diabetes

There are an extensive range of medications available to treat both Type 2 diabetes. These medications come in a range of forms, from injectable medications to oral tablets. This article will provide a brief overview of the various oral medications that are available, how they work and their side effects.

Metformin (Glucophage)

How it works:

Metformin is the mainstay treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes especially if there is associated obesity. It decreases the synthesis and release of sugars by the liver. Moreover, it increases the sensitivity of body tissues to the secreted insulin (decreases insulin resistance).

Caution with:

Side Effects:

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Sulfanylureas (Glipizide/ Glyburide/ Glimepiride)

How it works:

Encourages pancreas (insulin secreting structure of body) to secrete a higher level of insulin (glucose lowering hormone) and therefore reduces the level of blood sugar

Caution with:

Side Effects:

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Acarbose

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How it works:

Reduces blood sugar levels by reducing the digestion of starch in the gut and by hampering the release of digested glucose into the bloodstream

Caution with:

Side Effects:

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Rosiglitazone (Avandia)/ Pioglitazone (Actos)

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How it works:

Improves the sensitivity of body tissues to secreted insulin (reduces insulin resistance)

Caution with:

Side Effects:

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Sitagliptin (Januvia)

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How it works:

It has dual action. It promotes the release of insulin by the pancreas and improves the sensitivity of body tissues to secreted insulin

Caution with:

Side Effects:

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