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Medications for type 2 diabetes
WARNING:All the information below applies to patients who are not pregnant
or breastfeeding. At present the only recommended way of controlling diabetes in
women who are pregnant or breastfeeding is by diet, exercise, and insulin
therapy. You should speak with your health-care professional if you are taking
these medications, are considering becoming pregnant, or if you have become
pregnant while taking these medications.
Medications for type 2 diabetes are designed to:
increase insulin output by the pancreas,
decrease the amount of glucose released from the
increase the sensitivity (response) of cells to insulin,
decrease the absorption of carbohydrates from the intestine, and
slow emptying of the stomach, thereby delaying nutrient digestion and
absorption in the small intestine.
When selecting therapy for type 2 diabetes, consideration should be given to:
the magnitude of change in blood sugar control by each medication;
other co-existing medical conditions (high blood pressure, high
harmful or abnormal results (adverse effects) of the therapy;
contraindications to therapy (treatments or medications that may
issues that may affect the patient adhering to taking medications -
compliance - like timing of medication, frequency of
dosing, etc.); and
cost to the patient and the healthcare system.
A preferred drug can provide more than one benefit (for example, lower blood
sugar and control cholesterol). Cost of drug therapy is relatively small
compared to costs of managing chronic complications associated with poorly
Varying combinations of medications can control diabetes. Newer
medications allow tailoring of treatment options to meet individual needs. Not
every patient with type 2 diabetes will benefit from every drug, and not every
drug is suitable for each patient. Patients with type 2 diabetes should work
closely with their health-care professionals to achieve an approach that
provides the greatest benefits while minimizing risks and adverse events.
People with diabetes must remember the importance of diet and exercise.
Control of diabetes begins with a healthy lifestyle, regardless of prescribed