Diabetes Medications

Diabetes medications are those medicines that are used to treat diabetes. Diabetic medicine includes oral diabetic medicines, insulin and others. They can also include any approved diabetes alternative medicine. On this page, we will deal with those diabetic medicines that are not insulin or alternative medicines. Some of these medications cause the pancreas to secret more insulin, and the are called insulin secretagoues. Others work by making the body more sensitive to insulin or by reducing the amount of carbohydrates that gets into the body at a particular time.

In addition to these diabetic medications, diabetics may also take statin drugs to lower cholesterol. This is because diabetes causes increase in bad cholesterol or LDL and triglycerides in the body.


Oral Diabetes Medications

The oral diabetes drugs are all medications that can be taken by mouth. These are divided into different groups:

Biguanides

Biguanides are diabetic medicines that may make the receptors more sensitive to insulin and block the release of sugar from the glycogen storage in the liver.

Example of biguanides is Metformin, with the brand name Glucophage.

Sulfonylureas

Sulfonylureas are oral diabetes drugs that make the pancreas secrete more insulin in the body

Examples of sulfnylureas are:

Meglitinides

Meglitinides are the oral diabetic medicine that cause the pancreas to release more insulin in the body.

Examples of meglitinides are:

  • Repaglinide with the brand name of Prandin.
  • Nateglinide with the brand name of Starlix.

Thiazolidinediones

Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are oral diabetic drug that cause the body to be more sensitive to insulin.

Examples of thiazolidinediones is Pioglitazone which brand name is Actos.

Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 (DPP-4) Inhibitors are oral medications that increase the insulin in the body after a person eats food.

Examples of dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors are:

Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor Agonists Diabetes Medications

Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor Agonists are diabetes drugs that raise the amount of insulin in the body. Unlike the medicines mentioned above which are taken by mouth, GLP-1 receptor agonists are taken by subcutaneous injection into the fat layer under the skin. They are, however, not insulin by themselves.

Examples of GLP-1 receptor agonists are:

  • Liraglutide with the trade name of Victoza.

Combinations Diabetic Medications

These are diabetic medications that are made by combining two of the above medications.


The information presented here is to help you understand the diabetes medications and how they work. Only your doctor can prescribe your diabetes drugs. The doctor decides when you will use oral diabetes medication, insulin or both. The doctor then decides which insulin or oral diabetes medicine that works best or the combination that works better.

The goal of diabetes medication treatment is to reduce the blood glucose levels. How well the diabetic medicine is working is usually measured by the hemoglobin A1C.

In addition to the above mentioned medications, sometimes people sometimes use natural remedies for diabetes. This can be diabetes alternative medicine and includes certain vitamins and minerals.

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