Best medicine for diabetes
What are the common Diabetes medicines?
- (Glucophage, Glumetza, others). Generally, metformin is the first medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It works by lowering glucose production in the liver and improving your body’s sensitivity to insulin so that your body uses insulin more effectively.
- Sulfonylureas. These medications help your body secrete more insulin. Examples include glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase), glipizide (Glucotrol) and glimepiride (Amaryl). Possible side effects include low blood sugar and weight gain.
- Meglitinides. These medications — such as repaglinide (Prandin) and nateglinide (Starlix) — work like sulfonylureas by stimulating the pancreas to secrete more insulin, but they’re faster acting, and the duration of their effect in the body is shorter.
- Thiazolidinediones. Like metformin, these medications — including rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos) — make the body’s tissues more sensitive to insulin.
- DPP-4 inhibitors. These medications — sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza) and linagliptin (Tradjenta) — help reduce blood sugar levels, but tend to have a very modest effect.
- GLP-1 receptor agonists. These injectable medications slow digestion and help lower blood sugar levels.
- SGLT2 inhibitors. These drugs prevent the kidneys from reabsorbing sugar into the blood. Instead, the sugar is excreted in the urine.
Medications in this drug class may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with a high risk of those conditions. Side effects may include vaginal yeast infections, urinary tract infections, low blood pressure, and a higher risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. Canagliflozin, but not the other drugs in the class, has been associated with increased risk of lower limb amputation.
- Insulin. Some people who have type 2 diabetes need insulin therapy. In the past, insulin therapy was used as a last resort, but today it’s often prescribed sooner because of its benefit.
Normal digestion interferes with insulin taken by mouth, so insulin must be injected. Depending on your needs, your doctor may prescribe a mixture of insulin types to use throughout the day and night. There are many types of insulin, and they each work in a different way.
Often, people with type 2 diabetes start using insulin with one long-acting shot at night, such as insulin glargine (Lantus) or insulin detemir (Levemir). Discuss the pros and cons of different drugs with your doctor. Together you can decide which medication is best for you after considering many factors, including costs and other aspects of your health.