Medication for Type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes isn't required for everyone. It can often be partially or completely controlled with proper diet. In those cases that do require medication, there are several classifications of medications that provide effective control of the disease.
There are three classifications of diabetes:
- Type 1, which is when the pancreas fails to produce proper levels of insulin
- Type 2 is a problem with the individual cells in the body, when the insulin receptors do not allow glucose to properly enter the cell
- gestational occurs when a pregnant woman becomes diabetic during gestation
Measurement of blood sugar levels is how a diabetic patient tracks their insulin requirements. Type 1 diabetes treatment involves the daily administration of insulin and is not the same as Type 2 diabetes treatment. Understanding the mechanism by which your prescribed medication for Type 2 diabetes works is advisable as it will allow you to recognize problems and to better communicate with your doctor.
This classification of medication for Type 2 diabetes stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin; the second- and third-generation versions are more effective. First-generation sulfonylureas include Chlorpropamide (brand name Diabinese) and Tolazamide (brand name Tolinase). Glyburide (brand name Micronase, Diabeta and Glynase Pres Tab) and glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL) are second-generation sulfonylureas. The final, third-generation sulfonylureas is glimepiride (Amaryl). This class of drug must be used with caution, as it is known to cause low glucose levels. All of the medications in this class must be taken with meals. Diabinese must be used with caution in the elderly. Most of these medications are taken once a day, but the glyburide generic can be taken up to twice a day if required. Glucotrol requires being taken twice a day, while Glucotrol XL only once.
By cutting off excess glucose production by the liver, biguanides cannot be used for patients with congestive heart failure, liver problems or if the patient is in renal (kidney) failure. Glucophage (generic: Metformin) is the only drug in this class. This Type 2 diabetes medication must be taken with a meal.
With potential gastrointestinal side effects, the alpha-glucosidase inhibitors act directly on the intestines by reducing the carbohydrate absorption. This medication for Type 2 diabetes must be taken with the first bite of a meal.
While this classification of drugs works to increase the body's sensitivity to insulin, it may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills. It is essential to monitor liver enzymes as directed. Marketed as Avandia (generic: Rosiglitazone) and Actos (generic Piogllitazone), this medication must be taken at the same time every day.
Marketed as Prandin (generic: Repaglinide), meglitinides act directly on the pancreas by stimulating increased insulin production. To be taken right before each meal, this medication may cause low glucose levels.
All medication for Type 2 diabetes should be taken according to physician instruction along with regular monitoring of glucose levels.