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Glipizide Alternatives: Other Oral Diabetes Medicines

Fortunately, many other different types of oral medications are available to treat type 2 diabetes, including:
 
  • Sulfonylureas
  • Biguanides
  • Meglitinides
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Alpha glucosidase inhibitors
  • Dipeptidyl peptidase inhibitors
  • Ergot alkaloids 
  • Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2 inhibitors)
  • Bile acid sequestrants
  • Combination medications.
     
Sulfonylureas
Sulfonylureas are medications that force the pancreas to produce more insulin. As a result, they are effective, but are also more likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Besides glipizide, these medications include:
 
Biguanides
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 better. It also decreases sugar (glucose) production by the liver and decreases sugar absorption from the diet.
 
Meglitinides
Meglitinides are similar to sulfonylureas, in that they force the pancreas to make 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:
 
Thiazolidinediones
These diabetes drugs work primarily by helping the body to use its natural insulin better. These medications include:
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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