Click on the links in the list below to see more information about the diabetes medication such as it’s warnings, side effects, interactions, and storage instructions.

List of available medications for diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Diabetes is classified into type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes and each type requires different medications for treatment.

Type 1 Diabetes Medications

Type I diabetes is an endocrine disorder where the pancreas does not produce Insulin.

Insulin

Short-acting Insulins

Regular Insulin is a short acting insulin, sold under the trade names Humulin and Novolin. It is administered as a bolus to correct for elevated hyperglycemia after a meal. It is typically used with long acting insulin. This is done to account for the bodys metabolic needs for glucose. The most common route of injection is subcutaneously, administered 30 minutes before eating. Peak insulin occurs 2-5 hours after administration and can last for up to 12 hours.

  • Regular Insulin – Brand Names(s): Humulin, Novolin

Rapid-acting Insulins

Rapid acting insulin is taken 15 minutes before eating and is used to account for the increased glucose after eating and quickly lowers glucose levels after consumption. Administration is done subcutaneously. Typically this is used with long acting insulin. Some rapid acting Insulin analogs are Insulin aspart (Novolog), glulisine (Apidra) and lispro (Humalog). Rapid acting Insulin usually lasts for 3-5 hours with peak insulin occurring 30 minutes to three hours after administration.

Intermediate-acting Insulins

Intermediate acting insulin is used with short or rapid acting insulin to cover for meals that occur before and after insulin peaks.

  • Regular Insulin – Brand Name(s): Humulin N, Novolin N

Long-acting Insulins

Long acting insulin is taken once or twice a day to account for the body’s metabolic needs for glucose. It is used in conjunction with short and rapid acting insulin. Some long acting insulin drugs are Tresiba, Levemir, and Lantus.

  • Insulin degludec – Brand Name(s): Tresiba
  • Insulin detemir – Brand Name(s): Levemir
  • Insulin glargine – Brand Name(s): Lantus, Toujeo

Combination Insulins

Another type of Insulin drug is combination therapy where a mix of rapid acting and intermediate acting is administered to account for various diets and metabolisms of individuals.

  • insulin aspart protamine-insulin aspart – Brand Name(s): NovoLog Mix 70/30
  • insulin lispro protamine-insulin lispro – Brand Name(s): Humalog Mix 75/25
  • insulin lispro protamine-insulin lispro – Brand Name(s): Humalog Mix 50/50
  • human insulin NPH-human insulin regular – Brand Name(s): Humulin 70/30
  • human insulin NPH-human insulin regular – Brand Name(s): Novolin 70/30
  • insulin degludec-insulin aspart – Brand Name(s): Ryzodeg

Amylinomimetics

Amylinomimetrics is another class of diabetes drugs that are used to mimic the effects of another hormone produced by the pancreas, amylin. These drugs are work with insulin, but injection is done separately. This class of drug helps control blood sugar by inhibiting glucagon and delaying gastric emptying. An example of a synthetic amylin prescribed is Pramlintide.

Type 2 Diabetes Medication

Type 2 Diabetes is an issue where your body makes enough Insulin, but is insensitive to it and therefore unable to control blood glucose levels.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

A class of Type II diabetes medications is alpha glucocidase inhibitors. These drugs act to inhibit the function of alpha glucocidase enzymes. This enzyme is found in the small intestine and is used to allow for the absorption of glucose. This controls blood glucose levels by decreasing the amount of glucose being absorbed by the intestines. Common drugs are acarbose and miglitol. Trade names are Precose and Glyset respectively.

  • acarbose – Brand Name(s): Precose
  • miglitol – Brand Name(s): Glyset

Biguanides

Biguanides are another class of Type II diabetes drugs. The exact mechanism of how they work is not known, but it has been found in studies to increase insulin sensitivity and maintain insulin levels, helping control increased blood glucose levels. These drugs do not act upon the pancreas, but rather the liver by preventing it from making more glucose. Metformin is the brand name and is sold under various trade names.

metformin combination drugs

Dopamine agonists

Dopamine agonists are another class of drugs used to control Type II diabetes. This is used in conjunction with insulin to increase the sensitivity of insulin. It is believed to prevent the liver from making extra glucose helping control blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Typically these drugs are not the first choice by doctors and are used when other drugs fail to control blood glucose levels. Dopamine agonists are another class of drugs used to control Type II diabetes. This is used in conjunction with insulin to increase the sensitivity of insulin. It is believed to prevent the liver from making extra glucose helping control blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Typically these drugs are not the first choice by doctors and are used when other drugs fail to control blood glucose levels.

  • Bromocriptine – Brand Name(s): Parlodel

DPP-4 inhibitors

DPP-4 inhibitors are another class of diabetes medications that are relatively new. These drugs are typically used when more common Type II diabetes drugs like metformin do not sufficiently control blood glucose levels. This class of drugs works by inhibiting the action of DPP-4 enzymes, whose function is to destroy a hormone called incretin. Incretins help stimulate the release of insulin and also inhibit the production of glucagon during digestion. There are various types of drugs sold under different brand names.

  • alogliptin – Brand Name(s): Nesina
  • alogliptin-metformin – Brand Name(s): Kazano
  • alogliptin-pioglitazone – Brand Name(s): Oseni
  • linagliptin – Brand Name(s): Tradjenta
  • linagliptin-empagliflozin – Brand Name(s): Glyxambi
  • linagliptin-metformin – Brand Name(s): Jentadueto
  • saxagliptin – Brand Name(s): Onglyza
  • saxagliptin-metformin – Brand Name(s): Kombiglyze
  • sitagliptin – Brand Name(s): Januvia
  • sitagliptin-metformin – Brand Name(s): Janumet XR
  • sitagliptin and simvastatin – Brand Name(s): Juvisync

Glucagon-like peptides (incretin mimetics)

Glucagon-like peptides (GLP) are another class of diabetes drugs. This class of drugs are not the first choice amongst doctors, but they have been found to be effective in controlling blood glucose levels in patients with Type II Diabetes. GLP-1 is an incretin, increasing production of insulin.

Meglitinides

Meglinitides are another class of medications used to treat Type 2 diabetes. These drugs are taken before meals and are fast acting. They help the insulin producing cells of the pancreas to produce more insulin.

Sodium glucose transporter (SGLT) 2 inhibitors

Sodium glucose transport inhibitors is a class of drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes. These drugs inhibit SGLT2, an enzyme involved in glucose reabsorption in the kidneys. By inhibiting their function, these drugs help control blood glucose levels by excreting excess glucose in the urine.

  • dapagliflozin – Brand Name(s): Farxiga
  • dapagliflozin-metformin  – Brand Name(s): Xigduo XR
  • canagliflozin  – Brand Name(s): Invokana
  • canagliflozin-metformin  – Brand Name(s): Invokamet
  • empagliflozin  – Brand Name(s): Jardiance
  • empagliflozin-linagliptin  – Brand Name(s): Glyxambi
  • empagliflozin-metformin  – Brand Name(s): Synjardy

Sulfonylureas

Sulfonylureas stimulate the release of insulin from the insulin producing cells of the pancreas.

  • glimepiride  – Brand Name(s): Amaryl
  • glimepiride-pioglitazone  – Brand Name(s): Duetact
  • glimeperide-rosiglitazone – Brand Name(s): Avandaryl
  • gliclazide
  • glipizide  – Brand Name(s): Glucotrol
  • glipizide-metformin  – Brand Name(s): Metaglip
  • glyburide  – Brand Name(s): DiaBeta, Glynase, Micronase
  • glyburide-metformin  – Brand Name(s): Glucovance
  • chlorpropamide  – Brand Name(s): Diabinese
  • tolazamide  – Brand Name(s): Tolinase
  • tolbutamide  – Brand Name(s): Orinase, Tol-Tab

Thiazolidinediones

Thiazolidinediones are another class of drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes, whose function is to stimulate the storage of fatty acids in the circulation, decreasing their utilization for energy. This stimulates the body to use more glucose to help fuel the body, by using up more glucose, it allows the body to control excess levels of glucose. Thiazolidinediones are another class of drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes, whose function is to stimulate the storage of fatty acids in the circulation, decreasing their utilization for energy. This stimulates the body to use more glucose to help fuel the body, by using up more glucose, it allows the body to control excess levels of glucose.

  • rosiglitazone  – Brand Name(s): Avandia
  • rosiglitazone-glimepiride – Brand Name(s): Avandaryl
  • rosiglitizone-metformin – Brand Name(s): Amaryl M
  • pioglitazone  – Brand Name(s): Actos
  • pioglitazone-alogliptin  – Brand Name(s): Oseni
  • pioglitazone-glimepiride  – Brand Name(s): Duetact
  • pioglitazone-metformin  – Brand Name(s): Actoplus Met

Click on the links in the list above to see more information about the diabetes medications listed such as their warnings, side effects, interactions, and storage instructions.

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