Type 2 diabetes medications
There is no cure for type 2 diabetes. The key to managing this condition is a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, exercise and weight control. However, some people may need medication to keep their glucose levels balanced. As to medication, there are a lot of options for type 2 diabetes. It’s best to consult a doctor to discuss the best options.
Medication for lowering blood glucose
Medication for type 2 diabetes are aimed at lowering blood sugar and each type works in different ways. Medication may work in several ways: by stimulating the pancreas to produce and release more insulin, improving the sensitivity of the cells to insulin, preventing the production and release of glucose from the liver, preventing the reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys, blocking the action of stomach enzymes that break down carbohydrates and slowing down the process in which food moves through the stomach. Some of these medicines come in pills or tablets and some have to be injected.
Options for type 2 diabetes medications
Which medications suits a person best, depends on personal needs and situation. The most common diabetes medications are:
- Meglitinides: stimulate the release of insulin
- Sulfonylureas: stimulate the release of insulin
- Dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors: stimulates the release of insulin and prevents the release of glucose from the liver
- Biguanides: prevents the release of glucose from the liver and improves sensitivity to insulin
- Thiazolidinediones: improves sensitivity to insulin, prevents the release of glucose from the liver
- Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: slow the breakdown of starches and some sugars
- Sodium-glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors: block glucose from being reabsorbed by the kidneys.
- Bile acid sequestrants: lower cholesterol and have a very small effect in lowering blood glucose when used in combination with other diabetes medications
- Amylin mimetics: stimulate the release of insulin
- Incretin mimetics: stimulate the release of insulin
There is no such thing as a treatment that is suitable for every person with diabetes type 2. A doctor will have to establish which type of medication works best.