Type 2 Diabetes
How medicine helps manage diabetes
Some people with type 2 diabetes need pills (oral medicines) to help their bodies make insulin, decrease insulin resistance, or slow down how quickly their bodies absorb carbohydrate.
You may take no medicine, one medicine, or a few medicines. Some people need to take medicine for a short time, while others always need to take medicine. How much medicine you need depends on how well you can keep your blood sugar within your target range. You may need more medicine over time, even if you have good control of your blood sugar.
Medicines can help you manage your type 2 diabetes and other health problems, but only if you Reference take them correctly. It can be hard to keep track of when and how to take your medicine, especially if you are taking more than one. Maybe you aren't sure why you are taking a medicine or if it is working. Or you might have trouble paying for your medicine. For help, see the topic Reference Quick Tips: Taking Medicines Wisely.
medicines that help your body make insulin. These include:
- Reference Sulfonylureas, such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase, and Micronase), glimepiride (Amaryl), and other medicines that work in combination (Glucovance, Metaglip).
- Reference Meglitinides, such as repaglinide (Prandin), nateglinide (Starlix), and a combination medicine (Prandimet).
- Reference DPP-4 inhibitors, such as sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza), linagliptin (Tradjenta), and a combination medicine (Janumet).
- Oral medicines that reduce your body's need for insulin. These include:
medicines that slow down absorption of carbohydrates.
- Reference Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, such as acarbose (Precose) and miglitol (Glyset).
Medicines that help lower blood sugar. If you are having trouble controlling your blood
sugar with pills, your doctor may suggest one of these medicines:
- Reference Incretin mimetics, such as exenatide (Byetta) and liraglutide (Victoza). You take this medicine as a shot.
- Reference Amylinomimetics, such as pramlintide (Symlin). This medicine works with insulin and Reference glucagon Opens New Window to help control blood sugar. It is given as a shot before meals.
- Insulin. Insulin lets sugar (glucose) in the blood enter cells, where it is used for energy. Without insulin, the blood sugar level gets too high. Most of the time, people who take insulin use a combination of Reference short-acting and long-acting insulin. This helps keep blood sugar within the target range. You may want to learn more about Reference when insulin is needed for type 2 diabetes.
Medicines to help prevent or treat complications. These include:
- Reference Aspirin after a heart attack or stroke or to prevent them.
- Reference Statins, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), or pravastatin (Pravachol), to help prevent heart attack or stroke.
- Reference Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or Reference angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) to help prevent or treat diabetic nephropathy.
- Reference Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE-5 inhibitors), such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), or tadalafil (Cialis), if you have erection problems. Check with your doctor before taking any of these medicines.
- Reference Fibrates, such as gemfibrozil (Lopid) or fenofibrate (Tricor), to help lower triglycerides and increase HDL levels.
- Medicines for digestive problems. The type of medicine will depend on the problem you are having. For example, if you have Reference gastroparesis Opens New Window, you may take metoclopramide (Reglan) or erythromycin.
- Nonprescription pain relievers, creams, or prescription oral or injection medicines if you have pain from Reference peripheral neuropathy Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 28, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism