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Medication Options for People With Type 2 Diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes may need to take medication to manage their diabetes.

There are several types of diabetes medication out there. Sometimes, doctors may prescribe these drugs in combination. Here are a few classes of drugs that doctors may prescribe:

Metformin is a type of “biguanide,” which means that it keeps your body from producing too much glucose after you eat. Taking metformin also makes muscles more sensitive to insulin.

Sulfonylureas diabetes drugs produce insulin by stimulating beta cells in the pancreas. The latest second generation drugs in this class include Glipizide and Glimepiride. Glipizide doses and Glimepiride doses are smaller than first generation sulfonylurea doses. You will typically take these drugs one or two times per day before meals.

Meglitinides also work by stimulating beta cells to make insulin. You have to take these drugs three times a day before meals.

Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists: Unlike the other drugs in this list, most GLP-1 RA drugs need to be taken by injection. Examples of common GLP-1 drugs include Trulicity and Victoza. These GLP drugs mimic a hormone to help control blood sugar. A common side effect of glucagon-like peptide antagonists is weight loss. Semaglutide diabetes medication is in this class of drugs. An oral tablet version of semaglutide became available in 2019.


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