Sodium-Glucose Co-Transporter 2 Inhibitors
SGLT2 inhibitors work by causing glucose to be lost from the bloodstream into the urine. There are three approved medications in this class: Invokana® (canagliflozin), Farxiga™ (dapagliflozin), and Jardiance® (empagliflozin). These medications tend to lower blood pressure and cause a small amount of weight loss, which can often be desirable effects in people with type 2 diabetes.
Bile Acid SequestrantsOften overlooked as a diabetes drug, Welchol® (colesevelam) is a bile acid sequestrant that was initially approved for treating high cholesterol but was later approved for treating type 2 diabetes. It helps to lower both blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which can be very useful in many people with diabetes. The downside is that the usual dosage involves taking six tablets a day. It can also bind with (and therefore interact with) some other drugs.
Lifestyle Changes for Type 2 DiabetesMany lifestyle changes have been shown to be very effective for controlling type 2 diabetes (especially early type 2 diabetes). These lifestyle changes include weight loss, becoming more physically active (see Diabetes and Exercise), and changes in diet (see Diabetic Diet). In fact, these changes are important for all people with type 2 diabetes, including people taking diabetes medications.
For many people, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to adequately control type 2 diabetes. For these people, medications (including oral and injectable medications) may be necessary.