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Medications for Diabetes, Type 2

Other names: Diabetes; Noninsulin-dependent Diabetes; 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 Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
Janumet 6.1 62 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: metformin / sitagliptin systemic

Drug class: antidiabetic combinations

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Glucotrol 7.4 9 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: glipizide systemic

Drug class: sulfonylureas

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Byetta 7.9 80 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: exenatide systemic

Drug class: incretin mimetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Bydureon 6.5 263 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: exenatide systemic

Drug class: incretin mimetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Glumetza 9.5 4 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: metformin systemic

Drug class: non-sulfonylureas

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Humalog 6.5 10 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: insulin lispro systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Lantus SoloStar 7.6 28 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: insulin glargine systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

pioglitazone 4.7 46 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: pioglitazone systemic

Brand name:  Actos

Drug class: thiazolidinediones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Tradjenta 3.1 57 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: linagliptin systemic

Drug class: dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Novolog 5.1 11 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: insulin aspart systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

glyburide 6.9 8 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: glyburide systemic

Brand names:  DiaBeta, Glycron, Glynase, Glynase PresTab …show all

Drug class: sulfonylureas

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

metformin / sitagliptin 6.1 71 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: metformin / sitagliptin systemic

Brand names:  Janumet, Janumet XR

Drug class: antidiabetic combinations

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Onglyza 5.9 15 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: saxagliptin systemic

Drug class: dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Prandin 9.2 6 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: repaglinide systemic

Drug class: meglitinides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Riomet 4.5 2 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: metformin systemic

Drug class: non-sulfonylureas

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

GlipiZIDE XL 4.8 9 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: glipizide systemic

Drug class: sulfonylureas

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

insulin glargine 4.8 161 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: insulin glargine systemic

Brand names:  Lantus, Lantus SoloStar, Basaglar, Toujeo SoloStar, Toujeo Max SoloStar, Semglee …show all

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

NovoLog FlexPen 9.7 3 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: insulin aspart systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

repaglinide 8.3 10 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: repaglinide systemic

Brand name:  Prandin

Drug class: meglitinides

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Avandia 4.3 8 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: rosiglitazone systemic

Drug class: thiazolidinediones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

chromium picolinate Off-label 9.0 14 reviews
OTC N N

Generic name: chromium picolinate systemic

Brand names:  Cr-GTF, CRM

Drug class: minerals and electrolytes

For consumers: interactions, side effects

For professionals: Natural Product Monographs

Off-label: Yes

exenatide 6.5 396 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: exenatide systemic

Brand names:  Byetta, Bydureon, Bydureon BCise

Drug class: incretin mimetics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph

Humulin R 9.0 1 review
OTC B N X

Generic name: insulin regular systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

acarbose 4.5 2 reviews
Rx B N X

Generic name: acarbose systemic

Drug class: alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Basaglar 3.0 72 reviews
Rx C N X

Generic name: insulin glargine systemic

Drug class: insulin

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Frequently asked questions

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

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
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.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
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
M The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.
U CSA Schedule is unknown.
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.

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Further information

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