Medications That Treat Diabetes
Currently, there are many different medications that treat diabetes. Most people who are diagnosed with Type II diabetes are given medication instead of insulin. In most cases, a combination of drugs are used. These drugs work with the body to increase insulin production and make it easier for the body to eliminate glucose.
Sulfonylureas are one of the most popular drugs used to treat diabetes. There are several different types of this drug on the market, the most popular being Glucotrol. These drugs work by increasing the amount of insulin released from the pancreas. These drugs work well in lowering blood glucose levels but also run a risk of a person developing hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is when the blood sugar level is too low. Because of this potentially dangerous side effect, sulfonylureas are often given with other drugs, most notably Glucophage, or more commonly known as Metformin.
This drug works well with Glucotrol as it reduces the amount of glucose in the liver while the Glucotrol increases the amount of insulin in the pancreas. Both medications must be taken prior to meals. Most people who are first diagnosed with Type II diabetes are given this combination of drugs which, when taken as directed, are effective at maintaining a healthy blood glucose level.
Another drug that is showing promise in working well with Metformin is Prandin. Prandin also lowers blood glucose levels but at a slower rate than Metformin and has shown good results in studies. Like Glucotrol, Prandin increases the amount of insulin in the body and can also cause hypoglycemia. It is very important for a patient with diabetes to work with their physician to get the right dosage of each medication and never double a dosage or cut one in half. Prandin cannot be used in women who are pregnant or nursing children.
Starlix is another drug that works similar to Prandin but does not require adjustments. The dosage remains constant and is also safe to use on those with kidney problems. Starlix is yet another promising drug being used to treat people with Type II Diabetes.
While most medications that treat diabetes increase insulin developed in the pancreas and decrease the glucose in the liver, newer medications are being marketed that decrease the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestines. Precose did remarkably well in trial studies in breaking down the carbohydrates in the system, making it easier to eliminate. However, this medication has not done as well as the sulfonlureas, which are considered the best possible medications that treat diabetes at this time. However, for those who are allergic to sulfur, Precose is a good alternate.
Other new medications that are concentrating on controlling the glycemic control in the system include Symlin and Byetta. While these drugs have proven to be show promise, more testing is needed before they can replace traditional therapies.
A diagnosis of Type II diabetes may be frightening for an individual, but there are many different medications available that can keep this disease at bay. It is very important, however, for a patient to be totally complaint in order for these medications to work effectively. It may take increased dosages, lowered dosages or different combinations of medications in order to get the right balance that will help you maintain a healthy blood glucose level. This is why it is so important for an individual to carefully monitor their blood glucose level throughout the day and keep a record for the physician.
By working with your physician and reporting symptoms and results of blood glucose monitoring, you can empower yourself to keep your diabetes in check and avoid any complications that are associated with this disease.