A drug may be classified by the chemical type of the active ingredient or by the way it is used to treat a particular condition. Each drug can be classified into one or more drug classes.
Sulfonylureas work by stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin and are only effective when there is some pancreatic beta-cell activity still present.
Sulfonylureas block ATP sensitive potassium channels in Beta cells of the islets, and reduce the potassium permeability of Beta cells. This causes depolarization of the cells, calcium entry into the cell, which causes increased insulin secretion. The insulin released reduces plasma glucose concentrations.
Sulfonylureas are only indicated for treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
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Medical conditions associated with sulfonylureas: