People with type II diabetes are prescribed by medications including insulin to help control their blood sugar levels. Most of these anti-diabetics are available in the form of tablets for oral administration, but some are given intravenously in the form of injection. These pills and injections are intended to be used in combination with regular physical activity and healthy eating (not as a substitute).
These anti-diabetic pills are not an oral form of insulin. With recent drug development in the field of diabetes, not all injectable drugs are insulin. These diabetes medicines may cause adverse effects. Talk to your health care provider if you experience any problem while taking anti-diabetic agents. An alternative medication is usually available for patients who experience side effects from an anti-diabetic agent.
Classes of Diabetic Medications for Type II Diabetes Treatment
Currently, there are six classes of pills used for controlling blood sugar levels and two classes of injections. The pills are known as sulphonylureas, glitazones, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, biguanides, DPP-4 inhibitors, and meglitinides. On the other hand, the two categories of medications given intravenously are incretin mimetics and insulin.
- These medicines help to control high blood sugar level by:
- -Decreasing the amount of stored glucose released by the liver
- -Slowing down the glucose absorption from the intestine
- -Helping your body to become more sensitive to insulin so that your insulin works better
- The adverse effects of the medicine include diarrhea, metallic taste in the mouth, and nausea.
- Tablets should be taken before or after meals to avoid gastrointestinal problems.
- The dose of biguanides should be started at a low dose and increase gradually.
- The medications of this category have been shown to reduce the overall health of patients with type II diabetes. That’s why metformin is often considered to be the first choice in controlling blood glucose levels in patients with type II diabetes.
- These medications work to stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin in patients with type II diabetes. They can cause hypoglycemia. Make sure that you discuss with a health care provider about the problem.
- These pills must be taken when you are empty stomach (just before a meal). There is a reduced risk of hypoglycemia if you have regular meals throughout the day.
- The class of medicine can cause side effects such as stomach problems, jaundice, and skin rashes (rare).
- Considering the progressive nature of type II diabetes, your health care specialist may gradually increase the dose over time.
- Sulphonylureas may give in combination with metformin pills.
- These medications are known to lower blood glucose level by stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin; however, they are not chemically associated with a sulphonylureas class of medications.
- They are called as fast acting medications and don’t last long, so a pill is consumed before each meal to stimulate insulin to cope up with a meal.
- They can cause a deficiency of glucose in the bloodstream (hypoglycemia). Discuss with your health care provider about hypoglycemia, your health care specialist will offer you an alternative to cope up with the situation.
- Gastrointestinal problems and abnormalities of liver function tests are the side effects of Meglitinides.
- The uses of these drugs are contraindicated in pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Glitazones help to control diabetes by increasing the effect of your insulin, particularly in muscle and fat cells.
- The effect is slow; these medications may take days to a week to start working and one to two months for complete results.
- They work effectively in combination with other diabetes medications.
- These can cause unwanted weight gain. Do exercise to lose this unwanted weight.
- Another adverse effect with the usage of Glitazones is fluid accumulation. These medications should be avoided by people with heart failure.
- They are not recommended in case of liver problems.
- Their use is contraindicated in women who are pregnant and lactating.
- While taking these drugs, it is recommended to visit your health care specialist for regular check-ups of liver function for the first year of the diabetes treatment.
For complete diabetes care, take the correct dose at the right time, exactly as prescribed by your health care specialist.