Skip to Content

Medications for Diabetes, Type 2

Other names: Diabetes; Noninsulin-dependent Diabetes; Type 2 Diabetes

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Although some symptoms may be similar, it is a different condition to type 1 diabetes.

Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, most people with type 2 diabetes still produce insulin. However, it is either not enough to deal with all the glucose that is in their blood or their cells are unable to recognize the insulin and use it properly (this is called insulin resistance).

Type 2 diabetes usually affects people who are middle-aged or older, and obesity is by far the biggest risk factor. In the past two decades, the condition has become more prevalent in younger people, including children, mainly because of the rising rates of obesity in children. People who do little exercise or of certain ethnicities (such as Native Americans, African-Americans, and Hispanics) are also at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

What are the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Symptoms of type 2 Diabetes usually come on gradually and may be so subtle that many people do not realize they have the condition. Symptoms may include:

  • Always feeling thirsty
  • Feeling hungry, even though you eat regularly
  • Going to the toilet (urinating) often
  • Getting sick frequently, or frequent skin infections, particularly yeast or fungal infections
  • Infections take longer to heal
  • Feeling tired all the time or lacking in energy
  • Blurred or deteriorating vision.

How is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed?

Some doctors screen for diabetes in people of a certain age and it is usually always screened for in pregnant women. If you or your doctor suspects you have type 2 diabetes then they may perform a blood test on the spot that tests for blood sugar levels using a fingerprick or order a blood test that tests for blood sugar levels in the morning after an overnight fast.

Your doctor will also perform an examination and measure your blood pressure. Tests for cholesterol may also be conducted because approximately one-third of people with type 2 diabetes also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well.

How is Type 2 Diabetes Treated?

Even though symptoms of type 2 diabetes are barely noticeable in some people, constantly high blood sugar levels cause permanent damage to all the blood vessels and nerves in the body. Untreated diabetes can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, erectile dysfunction, foot problems, gum disease, eye and kidney disease, and many other problems.

If treatment is not started early, it is too late to reverse any damage once symptoms become more noticeable. Treatments for Type 2 diabetes include:

  • Metformin
  • Sulfonylureas
  • Meglitinides
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • DPP-4 inhibitors
  • GLP-1 receptor agonists
  • SGLT2 inhibitors
  • Insulin.

Drugs Used to Treat Diabetes, Type 2

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rx / OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol Reviews Rating Activity
Humulin N B N X 2 reviews 9.0

Generic name: insulin isophane systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

insulin aspart B N X 13 reviews 6.5

Generic name: insulin aspart systemic

Brand names:  Novolog, NovoLog FlexPen, Fiasp, NovoLog PenFill …show all

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

insulin detemir B N X 30 reviews 6.5

Generic name: insulin detemir systemic

Brand name:  Levemir

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

linagliptin B N X 52 reviews 3.5

Generic name: linagliptin systemic

Brand name:  Tradjenta

Drug class: dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

miglitol B N X 1 review 10

Generic name: miglitol systemic

Brand name:  Glyset

Drug class: alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

saxagliptin B N X 16 reviews 6.0

Generic name: saxagliptin systemic

Brand name:  Onglyza

Drug class: dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

Toujeo SoloStar C N X 22 reviews 5.4

Generic name: insulin glargine systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Welchol B N 5 reviews 3.6

Generic name: colesevelam systemic

Drug class: bile acid sequestrants

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

acarbose B N X 2 reviews 4.5

Generic name: acarbose systemic

Drug class: alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

ActoPlus Met C N X 6 reviews 7.2

Generic name: metformin / pioglitazone systemic

Drug class: antidiabetic combinations

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

albiglutide C N X 11 reviews 4.6

Generic name: albiglutide systemic

Brand name:  Tanzeum

Drug class: incretin mimetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts

Apidra C N X 3 reviews 6.0

Generic name: insulin glulisine systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Basaglar C N X 57 reviews 2.8

Generic name: insulin glargine systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

bromocriptine B N X Add review 0.0

Generic name: bromocriptine systemic

Brand name:  Cycloset

Drug class: dopaminergic antiparkinsonism agents, prolactin inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

colesevelam B N 6 reviews 4.3

Generic name: colesevelam systemic

Brand name:  Welchol

Drug class: bile acid sequestrants

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Cycloset B N X Add review 0.0

Generic name: bromocriptine systemic

Drug class: dopaminergic antiparkinsonism agents, prolactin inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

dapagliflozin / metformin C N X 10 reviews 8.3

Generic name: dapagliflozin / metformin systemic

Brand name:  Xigduo XR

Drug class: antidiabetic combinations

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts

Duetact C N X Add review 0.0

Generic name: glimepiride / pioglitazone systemic

Drug class: antidiabetic combinations

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

dulaglutide C N X 781 reviews 5.2

Generic name: dulaglutide systemic

Brand name:  Trulicity

Drug class: incretin mimetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

empagliflozin / metformin C N X 21 reviews 6.8

Generic name: empagliflozin / metformin systemic

Brand names:  Synjardy, Synjardy XR

Drug class: antidiabetic combinations

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts

empagliflozin C N X 231 reviews 5.4

Generic name: empagliflozin systemic

Brand name:  Jardiance

Drug class: SGLT-2 inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

glipizide / metformin C N X 2 reviews 3.5

Generic name: glipizide / metformin systemic

Drug class: antidiabetic combinations

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

Glucovance B N X 2 reviews 8.0

Generic name: glyburide / metformin systemic

Drug class: antidiabetic combinations

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Glyset B N X 1 review 10

Generic name: miglitol systemic

Drug class: alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Humulin 70 / 30 B N X 1 review 6.0

Generic name: insulin isophane / insulin regular systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Alternative treatments for Diabetes, Type 2

The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for Diabetes, Type 2. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of Diabetes, Type 2.

Legend

Rx Prescription Only
OTC Over the Counter
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter
Off Label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

Browse Treatment Options

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.