Type 2 Diabetes (cont.)
How medicine helps manage diabetes
Some people with type 2 diabetes need pills (oral medicines) to help their bodies make insulin, decrease insulin resistance, or slow down how quickly their bodies absorb carbohydrate.
You may take no medicine, one medicine, or a few medicines. Some people need to take medicine for a short time, while others always need to take medicine. How much medicine you need depends on how well you can keep your blood sugar within your target range. You may need more medicine over time, even if you have good control of your blood sugar.
Medicines can help you manage your type 2 diabetes and other health problems, but only if you take them correctly. It can be hard to keep track of when and how to take your medicine, especially if you are taking more than one. Maybe you aren't sure why you are taking a medicine or if it is working. Or you might have trouble paying for your medicine. For help, see the topic Quick Tips: Taking Medicines Wisely.
- Oral medicines that help your body make insulin. These include:
- Sulfonylureas, such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase, and Micronase), glimepiride (Amaryl), and other medicines that work in combination (Glucovance, Metaglip).
- Meglitinides, such as repaglinide (Prandin), nateglinide (Starlix), and a combination medicine (Prandimet).
- DPP-4 inhibitors, such as sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza), linagliptin (Tradjenta), and a combination medicine (Janumet).
- Oral medicines that reduce your body's need for insulin. These include:
- Oral medicines that slow down absorption of carbohydrates. These include:
- Medicines that help lower blood sugar. If you are having trouble controlling your blood sugar with pills, your doctor may suggest one of these medicines:
- Insulin. Insulin lets sugar (glucose) in the blood enter cells, where it is used for energy. Without insulin, the blood sugar level gets too high. Most of the time, people who take insulin use a combination of short-acting and long-acting insulin. This helps keep blood sugar within your target range. You may want to learn more about when insulin is needed for type 2 diabetes.
- Diabetes: Living With an Insulin Pump
- Medicines to help prevent or treat complications. These include:
- Aspirin after a heart attack or stroke or to prevent them.
- Statins, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), or pravastatin (Pravachol), to help prevent heart attack or stroke.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) to help prevent or treat diabetic nephropathy.
- Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE-5 inhibitors), such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), or tadalafil (Cialis), if you have erection problems. Check with your doctor before taking any of these medicines.
- Fibrates, such as gemfibrozil (Lopid) or fenofibrate (Tricor), to help lower triglycerides and increase HDL levels.
- Medicines for digestive problems. The type of medicine will depend on the problem you are having. For example, if you have gastroparesis, you may take metoclopramide (Reglan) or erythromycin.
- Nonprescription pain relievers, creams, or prescription oral or injection medicines if you have pain from peripheral neuropathy.
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