A Quick List of Common Diabetes Medications

Most people are familiar with insulin and metformin thanks to their wide usage for treating diabetes. But, you may not know that there are many other kinds of medications available to patients in their ongoing efforts to control this disease.

Let’s take a Look!


This is a replacement for the human hormone of the same name. It unlocks your cells so they can absorb glucose.


Metformin is the most well-known of these drugs that inhibit glucose production by the liver. They also improve insulin sensitivity, encourage the muscles to absorb sugar, and decrease sugar absorption in the digestive tract.


These are the oldest diabetes drugs still in use. They stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin.


Another medication that encourages the pancreas to release insulin, meglitinides are faster-acting and have a shorter half-life.


Not often used as the first line of defense because of an increased risk of heart disease, thiazolidinediones, act in a similar way to biguanides. They improve insulin sensitivity and decrease glucose production in the liver.



Used primarily for Type 1 Diabetes, this injectable reduces your appetite, slows glucagon production, delays stomach emptying, and lowers blood sugar.

Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors

These lower blood sugar levels by helping your body to break down starchy foods and table sugars.

DPP-4 Inhibitors

These inhibitors cause a modest reduction in blood sugar levels by helping the body make insulin. They are good options for those prone to hypoglycemia.

GLP-1 Receptor Agonists

The action of these molecules is not well understood yet. However, they effectively lower blood sugar levels and slow digestion.

SGLT2 Inhibitors

One of the newest medications on the market, SGLT2 inhibitors prevent the kidneys from absorbing sugar and putting it back into the bloodstream. Instead, it passes out of the body through urine.

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[expand title=”References“]

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment. URL Link. Accessed August 8th, 2017.

A Complete List of Diabetes Medications. URL Link. Accessed August 8th, 2017.


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