Metformin (Fortamet®, Glucophage®, Glucophage XR®, Glumetza®, or Riomet®) is the only biguanide medication currently available. It works by helping the body use its natural insulin more effectively. It also decreases sugar (glucose) production by the liver and decreases sugar absorption from the diet.
Meglitinides are similar to sulfonylureas, in that they force the pancreas to produce more insulin. However, they are short-acting and are less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. They are usually taken before every meal. Meglitinides include:
These diabetes medicines primarily work by helping the body to use its natural insulin more effectively. There are currently two thiazolidinediones available:
Alpha Glucosidase Inhibitors
These medications prevent the breakdown of sugar and carbohydrates in the digestive tract, slowing down their absorption. These medications are used to decrease blood sugar levels after meals. These medications include:
Dipeptidyl Peptidase Inhibitors
This is a relatively new class of oral diabetes drugs. These medications increase incretin levels in the body. Incretin is a hormone that helps to control blood sugar. Currently, there are four medications available in this group: