What are Diabetic Medicines? How do they work?
Prediabetes and diabetes are two of the top pressing health issues in the country. Although there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed through healthy eating habits, an active lifestyle, and regular blood sugar monitoring. But sometimes, oral medications and treatment are important with healthy lifestyle choices to keep the blood sugar levels balanced.
However, the new drugs with a positive outcome improved blood sugar testing machines, and a healthy lifestyle adds up to a gain in outcomes for patients.
Type 1 diabetes is straight away treated with insulin, exercise, and an appropriate diet. Whereas type 2 diabetes follows a healthy life initially, but if in case it fails to control the blood sugar, doctors prescribe patients with oral medication or injections, and if even this does not work, then the patient is treated with insulin.
MEDICATIONS FOR TYPE 2 DIABETES
The medication used to treat diabetes is not used in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Presently, the only recommended way of controlling diabetes in pregnant or breastfeeding women is by diet, exercise, and insulin therapy.
Medications for type 2 diabetes are meant to
- Increase insulin output by the pancreas,
- Reduce the amount of glucose released from the liver,
- Increase the sensitivity (response) of cells to insulin, and
- Decrease the absorption of carbohydrates from the intestine.
An apt drug can provide more than one benefit, for example- lower blood sugar and control cholesterol. Not every drug is appropriate for different patients, and not every patient with type 2 diabetes will benefit from every drug.
The medications for type 2 diabetes fall into specific classes based on how they work to achieve control of blood sugar.
Metformin- It is a biguanide drug that raises the sensitivity of the body’s cells to insulin. It reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver as well. Typically, it is the first drug that is prescribed for treating type 2 diabetes. Moreover, metformin tends to suppress appetite, which may benefit people who are overweight. Nausea and diarrhea could be the side effects of these drugs.
Sulfonylureas- Medications that increase insulin output by the pancreas belong to the class of drugs called sulfonylureas.
These drugs rapidly lower blood sugar and can cause hypoglycemia. Moreover, weight gain is a possible side effect of the sulfonylurea drugs.
Meglitinides- Meglitinides are a class of drugs that promotes insulin secretion from the pancreas. Repaglinide (Prandin) and nateglinide (Starlix) are extremely short-acting, unlike the long-lasting sulfonylureas. That is why they are prescribed up to three times a day, right before meals.
Since these drugs promote circulating insulin levels, they may lead to hypoglycemia and weight gain.
Thiazolidinedione- Thiazolidinedione drugs lower blood glucose by increasing the sensitivity of the cells to insulin. Examples include pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia)
These drugs have serious side effects like an increased risk of heart failure and bone fractures. Along with the medications, one should always have a blood sugar testing machine handy for a regular blood sugar monitor. You can easily find a few advanced options of glucose meters to make sugar testing easier for you.
You can connect with BeatO, a health management app(beatoapp.com/download) that provides one of India’s best sugar testing machines along with other services.
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