Metformin, which is used to treat type 2 diabetes, is a medicine in a class called “biguanides.” It lowers blood sugar levels by decreasing the amount of glucose that your liver releases into the bloodstream.
Oral diabetes medications (taken by mouth)
This is a common medication used for type 2 diabetes and is often the first one that is prescribed. It decreases glucose production from the liver and therefore lowers blood sugar.
Thiazolidinediones (e.g. pioglitazone, rosiglitazone)
These medications decrease insulin resistance, the inability of cells in the body to respond appropriately to insulin by removing glucose from the blood.
Sulfonylureas (e.g. glyburide, gliclazide, glimepiride)
Sulfonylureas continuously stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas.
DPP-4 Inhibitors (e.g. sitagliptin, saxogliptin, linagliptin, alogliptin)
Inhibiting the enzyme DPP-4 increases the level of a hormone named GLP-1. GLP-1stimulates insulin production and decreases production of glucagon when glucose levels are too high.
SGLT-2 Inhibitors (e.g. canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, empagliflozin, ertugliflozin)
This class of medication lowers blood sugar by causing the kidneys to removexcess glucose through the urine. SGLT2-inhibitors wor independently of insulin.
There are several combination oral medications available in Canada. Usually, they include metformin plus a medication from another drug class, but they may also be a combination of a DPP-4 inhibitor and an SGLT-2 inhibitor. The combination medications are generally more effective and potentially reduce side effects compared to taking multiple drugs separately. Combination medications are also
more convenient as they reduce the number of times a medication is needed.
There are many things that can be done on a daily basis to manage kidney disease and reduce the risk of kidney damage, including taking medications.
Many people with type 2 diabetes need medication (and sometimes more than one diabetes medication) to manage their blood glucose levels.
Has your pharmacist ever suggested that you could save money by switching to a generic diabetes medication instead of the brand name your health professional has recommended? Most of us have been in this situation and may have had slight concerns about whether to follow the advice.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice have been associated with a number of drug interactions.
Do you ever find yourself picking up medication prescriptions on different days? Did you ever wonder if you could arrange for your chronic medications to be picked up all at the same time?