What Are Some Common Diabetes Medications?

What Are Some Common Diabetes Medications? image

Diabetes is a serious condition and proper care should be given by a physician before taking any medication. Since there are different types of diabetes, a doctor must run tests to figure out the nature of the disorder and then prescribe medication accordingly. The patient’s age and medical history should be taken into consideration and many different blood tests will need to be done.

There are two types of diabetes such as Type 1 and 2. In type 1 diabetes, the insulin levels produced by the body are found to be too low. The medication used to treat this would be the direct injection of insulin itself into the body. In type 2 diabetes, the problem is not insulin but the rate at which insulin is used and also secreted. Let’s look at type 1 and type 2 diabetes in detail and learn more about their treatments and medications.

Type 1 Diabetes Medication

Type 1 diabetes stems from the destruction of beta-cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This results in no insulin being produced. It is not as common as Type 2 diabetes but there are still various medications used to treat it.

Cyclosporine A: This is an immunosuppressive drug that is used for short term treatment because of its bad side effects that include toxicity. This medication works by preventing beta cells from being destroyed.

Changes in Diet: Changing the diet can make a huge impact on diabetes,  however, children seem to be able to better benefit from this since they are younger. Adults will have to resort to insulin treatment since diet is much harder for older individuals.

Insulin Therapy: Using either subcutaneous injections or insulin pumps, insulin is introduced into the body when necessary. Levels of blood glucose are found using glucose meters.

Neglecting type 1 diabetes is extremely dangerous and can result in the patient going into a coma from diabetic ketoacidosis if they do not take the insulin therapy.

Transplantation of the Pancreas

In extreme cases of type 1 diabetes, this procedure is advised. However, the risk with this transplantation is high so it is a very uncommon procedure.

Islet Cell Transplantation

In this method, islet cells which can produce insulin are transplanted into the liver. The liver is chosen because of its suitable position in the body. However, this isn’t a permanent solution because the body begins to reject the islet cells unless the patient’s stem cells are used. This is not easy to find so this method is only used while suppressing the immune system.

Type 2 Diabetes Medication:

In type 2 diabetes, the patient does have a supply of insulin but there are other issues that prevent the blood sugar from staying at a normal level. These are either problems with the blood accepting the insulin or the body not processing glucose well enough.

Some type 2 medications for diabetes are:

Oral Medications:
Metformin: This stops glucose release from the liver and increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Metformin may cause many side effects. 

Rosiglitazone, Pioglitazone: This medication has the same function as Metformin but has the advantage of sometimes increasing HDPL levels. However, some side effects are heart failure, liver disease and heart attack.


Repaglinide, Nateglinide : These medications increase the rate at which insulin is released by the body, but the side effects can be low blood sugar levels.

Glipizide, Glimepiride: These too quickly cause insulin release but may cause skin rashes, hypoglycemia or weight gain.

Injectable Medications:

Pramlintide: This causes an increase in insulin levels but results in severe headaches.

Liraglutide, Exenatide: These have the same effect as Pramlinitide but the side effects include increased chances of kidney failure.



Now that you have read up on the various treatments and medications of diabetes, contact your physician to learn more about your condition.

Related Questions

What are some of the most common diabetes medications?

I know insulin is one of them, but there must be more right?

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