Together with or without insulin, medications are used by many type 2 diabetics to control their blood glucose levels. Below is a detailed report on the type 2 diabetes medications you can use.
When taken at the beginning of a meal, the speed at which starches are processed in the intestines is reduced and this helps to prevent too great an increase of glucose in the bloodstream, which normally takes place after consumption of starches. However, there are possible side-effects which are digestive problems such as diarrhea and gas. The alpha-glucosidase inhibitors available are miglitol (Glyset) and acarbose (Precose).
This has been approved by the FDA and will soon be available. It lowers blood sugar but how it achieves that is not yet totally understood. Initially, only one tablet, once a day, is taken with food. Increase the dosage with one additional tablet each week until the highest tolerated dosage of 2 to 6 tablets, once a day, has been reached. It probably does not cause any increase in weight or hypoglycemia; will not cause any cardiovascular problems; and has no effect on renal impairment. The possible side-effects can be headache, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting and nausea. However, cycloset must not be taken by people who suffer from psychotic disorders or use dopamine antagonists.
Exenatide helps to increase insulin production. Used twice a day, it should be injected less than an hour prior to the morning meal and the evening meal. The possible side-effects are weight loss, nausea which can improve or completely disappear with time, and the rare occurrence of acute pancreatitis, in which the pancreas is seriously inflamed. It is not known how the pancreas can be affected by exenatide.
Linagliptin helps the body to increase the amount of insulin after meals and this lowers blood sugar levels. It can be taken once a day through the mouth, at any time, following the directions of a doctor. Different from other DPP-4 inhibitors, it may not present any necessity for dose adjustment to people suffering from kidney disease as it is not sent out of the body by the kidneys. The possible side-effects experienced are a sore throat with a runny or stuffy nose and reduced blood sugar level if it is taken together with particular diabetes medications.
How do you treat Type 2 Diabetes? – Video Guide
Injected once each day, it encourages insulin production. The possible side-effects are weight loss, nausea which can improve or completely disappear with time, and the rare occurrence of acute pancreatitis, in which the pancreas is seriously inflamed. It is not known how the pancreas can be affected by liraglutide.
This is another medication which can stimulate the pancreas to increase its production of insulin. It should be taken just before the three main meals. The possible side-effect is hypoglycemia although the risk is less when compared with medications such as sulfonylureas. Repaglinide (Prandin) and nateglinide (Starlix) are the medications available.
This medication helps the muscles to use up more glucose and reduces the release of glucose from the liver. It can be taken at least once, up to a maximum of three times each day. If the extended-release (XR) formulations are used, once a day is sufficient. The possible side-effects are stomach upset, nausea and diarrhea which can be prevented by taking the medication together with food or by replacing the medication with extended-release formulations. People with impaired kidney function or other health problems should not use metformin. The available medications are metformin (Fortamet, Riomet, Glucophage, Glumetza and Glucophage XR.)
Saxagliptin (Onglyza) helps to reduce blood sugar by stimulating the body to increase the production of insulin after each meal. It is taken by mouth only once a day at any time, without the need for food to accompany it. It is not likely to lead to hypoglycemia. The possible side-effects are urinary tract infection, upper respiratory tract infection, headache and fluid retention or swelling which can worsen in those who use a thiazolidinedione medication too.
Pramlintide Acetate (Symlin)
Pramlintide Acetate is a medication which is injected to lessen a person’s need for insulin. Symlin, just like insulin which is lab-produced, is similar to the insulin produced by the pancreas’ beta cells to assist in blood sugar control. It is also the right medication for type 1 diabetics to use. The common side-effect is nausea which lessens with time..
This medication encourages the production of insulin by the beta cells in the pancreas. It can be taken once each day, without the need for food to accompany it. It is not likely to result in hypoglycemia. The possible side-effects are allergic reactions. However, skin rash is rare.
This medication encourages the pancreas to produce insulin. It is usually taken before meals, once or twice a day. The possible side-effect is hypoglycemia. Undesirable reactions with alcohol may occur. Medications which are available are glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase Pres Tab, Micronase), glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), and glimepiride (Amaryl).
Often known as TZDs, thiazolidinediones improve the effectiveness of the human body’s natural insulin in fat and muscle. They also reduce the liver’s production of glucose. Their intake need not be accompanied by food. The possible side-effects are congestive heart failure, weight gain, water retention and, in rare cases, bone fractures. A type of these medications, rosiglitazone (Avandia) can raise the chances of heart attack. The medications which are available are rosiglitazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos).
You can take type 2 diabetes medications either individually or combined in a pill. The combinations are rosiglitazone with metformin (Avandamet), saxagliptin with extended-release metformin (Kombiglyze XR), repaglinide with metformin (Prandimet), linagliptin with metformin (Jentadueto), sitagliptin with metformin (Janumet), glyburide with metformin (Glucovance) and glipizide with metformin (Metaglip). Such combination pills make it more convenient for the users but when a side-effect is experienced, it is difficult to know which one of the two medications causes it.