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Sulfonylureas
Sulfonylureas are medications that force the pancreas to make more insulin. As a result, they are very effective at controlling blood sugar levels, but are also more likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). These medications include:
 
Biguanides
Metformin (Fortamet®, Glucophage®, Glucophage XR®, Glumetza®, or Riomet®) is the only biguanide medication currently available. It works by improving the way the body uses its natural insulin. 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 produce more insulin. However, they are short-acting medications and are less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar. They are usually taken before every meal. Meglitinides include:
 
Thiazolidinediones (Glitazones)
These medications mainly work by improving the way the body uses its natural insulin. These medications include:
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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