Diabetes Management: The Types of Oral Medications

Woman taking blood sugar testDiabetes is among the most prevalent lifestyle diseases currently. Over one million deaths annually are attributed to diabetes-related complications. With proper management, however, people living with diabetes can still enjoy a healthy and long life.

Among the hallmarks of diabetes management in American Fork clinics is the use of oral drugs. These drugs work in diverse ways to achieve the optimal glucose levels and keep your condition under control. Here are the most common categories of oral diabetes drugs used to manage the condition.

Sulfonylureas

These drugs stimulate your pancreas to produce more insulin. Sulfonylureas have been a hallmark of efficient diabetes management since the 1950s.

Glipizide, chlorpropamide, glimepiride, and glyburide are all types of sulfonylureas. The drugs are taken once or twice daily before meals to achieve efficient glycemic control.

Meglitinides

These drugs stimulate your pancreas’ beta cells to produce insulin. Nateglinide and repaglinide are the main types of meglitinides used today.

Since they stimulate insulin release, sticking to the prescribed dosage and timings is essential since they can cause hypoglycemia if abused. Inform your doctor in case of any hypoglycemic episodes so that they will adjust your dose.

Biguanides

These drugs lower the level of glucose your liver produces. They also increase your tissues’ sensitivity to insulin hence enhancing the absorption of glucose.

The main biguanide prescribed today is metformin. It is taken once or twice daily before meals. A common side effect of metformin is diarrhea, which typically resolves if you take your medication with food.

While all the medications mentioned above are effective in diabetes management, they are not very efficient when used alone. Exercise and the right nutrition are also important constituents of your overall diabetes management program.

Regular blood sugar self-monitoring also helps you keep track of your sugar levels and acts as a tool for regulating your medication dosage.