Diabetes – All About Diabetes Medications and Treatment

For people with type 2 diabetes your doctor will usually prescribe an oral medication to help in controlling your blood glucose level. Of course, along with any diabetes medications you will most likely be making changes in your diet, getting exercise, etc., but this article will focus on the types of diabetic medications that are available.

Keep in mind that there are two reasons for anyone to have type 2 diabetes.

1. Their pancreas simply does not produce enough insulin anymore.

2. The cells have become insulin resistant.

Different diabetes medications are used for one of these two categories based on simple blood tests that tell the doctor which category you belong to.

Sulfonylureas

Oral medications such as Amaryl, DiaBeta, Glucotrol, Glynase, Micronase and others are all drugs that help lower blood glucose levels by causing the pancreas to produce and release more insulin.

Biguanides

These types of diabetic medications aid the insulin in moving glucose into different cells. This type of medicine is not for everyone though. If you have kidney problems or a history of heart problems you could be at risk of serious medical issues. Glucophage, Fortament, Glumetza and Riomet are all examples of Biguanides.

Thiazolidnediones

Drugs in this class such as Actos and Avandia work in making your body’s insulin more effective. They block the liver from releasing too much insulin, while making it more effective in muscle and fat.

Although Thiazolidinediones are excellent in type 2 diabetics, your doctor will do periodic blood tests to be sure they are not damaging your liver.

Alpha – Glucosidase Inhibitors

These diabetes medications slow down the increase in blood glucose levels by blocking out enzymes that aid in digesting starches.

A major side effect from these drugs such as Precose and Glyset are gas and diarrhea.

Meglitinides

Meglitinides, including Prandin and Starlix, work by helping the pancreas release additional insulin. This in turn will reduce blood glucose levels.

There are also several different combinations of these medications available that combine two different types into one pill.

This is only a brief overview and only your doctor can help determine the course of treatment that is right for you.