Type 2 Oral Diabetes Medications (Oral)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Type 2 Diabetes: Learn the Warning Signs

What are the side effects of oral diabetes medications?

The nine classes of oral diabetes drugs differ in their side effect profile. The main side effects of each class are as listed.

Side effects of thiazolidinediones

Thiazolidinediones may cause

Side effects of DPP-4 inhibitors

Although DPP-4 inhibitors are generally well tolerated, they may cause

Side effects of biguanides (metformin [Glucophage])

The most common side effects of metformin include

These side effects usually are mild and tend to decrease in severity over time despite continuation of treatment.

Other reported side effects of metformin include

  • metallic taste,
  • interference with vitamin B12 absorption, and
  • exercise induced hypoglycemia.

Although rare, metformin may cause lactic acidosis, a serious condition that occurs due to the accumulation of acid in the body.

Side effects of sulfonylureas

Sulfonylureas most commonly cause hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and weight gain. Less common side effects are

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/8/2015

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