Treatments for Diabetes

Diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be effectively treated with medication. You’ll also need to make lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating a nutritious diet, but if these aren’t effective enough, you’ll need to be treated with diabetes medication and insulin.

The following types of medications are commonly used:

Biguanides (Metformin)

Metformin is often the first medication prescribed if you have type 2 diabetes. It lowers the amount of glucose your liver produces and also makes your muscle tissue more sensitive to insulin.

Sulfonylureas (Glucotrol, Micronase, and Amaryl)

These drugs make your pancreas release more insulin. They are often prescribed if you can’t take Metformin because of side effects.

Meglitinides (Prandin, Starlix)

Meglitinides make your pancreas produce more insulin.

Thiazolidinediones (Avandia, ACTOS)

These reduce the amount of glucose your liver produces and help insulin work better. They’re frequently used in combination with Metformin.

DPP-4 Inhibitors (Januvia, Onglyza)

These medications help by preventing the breakdown of a compound in the body, GLP-1, that reduces blood glucose levels.

SGLT2 Inhibitors (Invokana, Farxiga)

This medication helps excess glucose to be eliminated through the urine.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (Precose, Glyset)

These drugs block the breakdown of starches and some sugars, helping you to avoid blood glucose spikes after meals.

Bile Acid Sequestrants (Welchol)

This cholesterol medication also reduces blood glucose levels.

Insulin shots

In addition to taking oral medication, you may have to inject yourself with insulin one or more times a day. Insulin lets your body utilise glucose for energy and helps keep your blood glucose levels under control. If your doctor prescribes oral medications or insulin, it’s important to take them as directed and to let your doctor know if you have any side effects. Since several different kinds of medication are available, it may be possible to try another type.