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As of 2006 diabetes was the seventh cause of death in the United States, according to the American Diabetes Society 1. By 2007 the medical costs of diagnosed diabetes exceeded $100 billion. Medication is a major factor in treating diabetes 2. Metformin is often the drug prescribed to newly diagnosed diabetics, notes FamilyDoctor.org. However there are other medications that be used in addition to metformin.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are a form of oral diabetes medication that target the digestive system. These drugs decrease the absorption of blood sugar by the stomach and intestines, explains FamilyDoctor.org. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors may cause abdominal pain, loose bowel movement, or bloatedness.

Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 Inhibitors

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Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, or DPP-4 inhibitors, are oral medicines that aid the body in producing insulin after meals. DPP-4 inhibitors accomplish this by preventing the destruction of a biochemical called GLP-1. This biochemical helps reduce blood sugar levels, according to the American Diabetes Association 1.

Incretin Mimetics

Exenatide is an incretin mimetic. Incretin mimetics are injectable diabetic medications that typically lower blood sugar by stimulating insulin release. Incretin mimetics can cause nausea and possibly hypoglycemia, explains the American Diabetes Association 1.

Insulin

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Insulin is a biochemical that is normally produced by the pancreas, and utilized to regulate blood sugar levels, according to the American Diabetes Association 1. However diabetes either prevents the body from producing insulin, or renders the body unable to utilize the insulin produced. As such, it is necessary for some diabetics to use artificial insulin. However because insulin breaks down upon contact with digestive juices insulin must injected directly into the bloodstream.

Meglitinides

Meglitinides such as repaglinide and nateglinide are oral diabetes medicined that help stimulate insulin production in the pancreas, notes FamilyDoctor.org 2. However meglitinides can cause hypoglycemia and should not be taken with alcohol, explains the American Diabetes Association 1.

Pramlintide

Pramlintide is an artificial version of amylin. Amylin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, and also helps regulate blood sugar, explains the American Diabetes Association 1. This diabetes medication must be injected. Pramlintide can initially cause nausea, but this side effect tends to fade in time.

Sulfonylureas

Sulfonylureas are oral medications commonly used in treating diabetes, notes FamilyDoctor.org 2. However sulfonylureas may cause weight gain, as well as lower sodium levels in the body. Sulfonylureas are typically taken once or twice a day just prior to eating, according to the American Diabetes Association 1.

Thiazolidinediones

Rosiglitazone and pioglitazone belong to the thiazolidinediones class of oral diabetes medication, notes FamilyDoctor.org 2. Thiazolidinediones typically target muscle and fat. Thiazolidinediones also reduce blood sugar production in the liver.

The Wrap Up
  • As of 2006 diabetes was the seventh cause of death in the United States, according to the American Diabetes Society.
  • By 2007 the medical costs of diagnosed diabetes exceeded $100 billion.
  • Exenatide is an incretin mimetic.
  • As such, it is necessary for some diabetics to use artificial insulin.
  • Amylin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, and also helps regulate blood sugar, explains the American Diabetes Association.
  • Sulfonylureas are oral medications commonly used in treating diabetes, notes FamilyDoctor.org.
  • However sulfonylureas may cause weight gain, as well as lower sodium levels in the body.
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