Home  \  Medications


Medications for treating type 2 Diabetes

The first way to treat type 2 diabetes is often diet modification, exercise and weight loss. Often these steps are not enough to bring blood glucose levels down to a healthy range. The next step is taking medication that lowers blood glucose levels.

Your doctor will decide which medication is right for you.
This depends on various factors including your age, other medical conditions, and blood sugar levels and how you respond to the medications.

ORAL Medications

There are different types, or classes, of drugs that work in different ways to lower blood glucose.

Glipizide, glyburide, glimepiride
These stimulate the pancreas to release more insulin.

These lower blood glucose levels primarily by decreasing the amount of glucose produced by the liver. It also helps to lower blood glucose levels by making muscle tissue more sensitive to insulin so glucose can be absorbed.

These medicines help insulin work better in the muscle and fat and also reduce glucose production in the liver.

DPP-4 Inhibitors
Sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza), linagliptin (Tradjenta)
These work by preventing the breakdown of a naturally occurring compound in the Body, GLP-1. GLP-1 reduces blood glucose levels in the body. By interfering in the process that breaks down GLP-1, DPP-4 inhibitors allow it to remain active in the body longer, lowering blood glucose levels only when they are high.

SGLT2 Inhibitors
Canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga)
Glucose in the blood passes through the kidneys. Sodium-glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) works naturally in the kidney to reabsorb glucose, and SGLT2 inhibitors block this action, causing excess glucose to be eliminated in the urine.

Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors
Acarbose, voglibose
Alpha glucosidase inhibitors help the body to lower blood glucose levels by blocking the breakdown of starches, such as bread, potatoes, and pasta in the intestine. They also slow the breakdown of some sugars, such as table sugar. Their action slows the rise in blood glucose levels after a meal.