Insulin is available in short-, rapid-, long-, or intermediate-acting insulins.
There is one amylin analogue available, called pramlintide (Symlin®). This medication works like the hormone amylin in the body, increasing insulin production, slowing digestion, decreasing the production of glucose by the liver, and reducing appetite.
Oral Diabetes MedicinesFortunately, there are many different types of oral medications available to treat type 2 diabetes, including:
- Alpha glucosidase inhibitors
- Dipeptidyl peptidase inhibitors
- Ergot alkaloids
- Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2 inhibitors)
- Bile acid sequestrants
- Combination medications.
Metformin (Fortamet®, Glucophage®, Glucophage XR®, Glumetza®, or Riomet®) is the only biguanide medication currently available. The drug works by helping the body use its natural insulin better. It also decreases sugar (glucose) production by the liver, and decreases sugar absorption from the diet.
Sulfonylureas are medications that force the pancreas to make more insulin. As a result, they are very effective at controlling blood sugar, but are also more likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). These medications include:
- Chlorpropamide (Diabinese®)
- Glimepiride (Amaryl®)
- Glipizide (Glucotrol®, Glucotrol XL®)
- Glyburide (DiaBeta®, Micronase®, Glynase®)
- Tolazamide (Tolinase®)
- Tolbutamide (Orinase®).
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. They are usually taken before every meal. Meglitinides include:
These diabetes medicines primarily work by helping the body to better use its natural insulin. There are currently two thiazolidinediones available: