Diabetic Medication

Understanding how diabetic medication treat elevated blood sugar glucose and what are the side effects of diabetic medicationdiabetic medication

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Diabetic Medication - How It Works

Diabetic medication or pills for treating diabetes can lower blood glucose level however only for people with type 2 diabetes.  Type 2 diabetics still make some insulin in their bodies but don't use the insulin well enough.

To understand how diabetic medication works, you must understand the reason why blood glucose levels are high in people with type 2 diabetes.

  • First reason for elevated blood sugar is your muscles are not taking up the glucose in your blood stream.  This condition is also known as insulin resistance.

  • Second, the liver is over producing glucose and thus further increases the glucose levels in your body.

  • Thirdly, Insulin production by your pancreases (specifically the beta cells in pancreases) cannot keep up with high levels of glucose in the blood stream.

Medications are available to treat elevated blood glucose levels related to all the 3 causes mentioned above.  The oral diabetic medication available today fall into 5 different categories:

  • sulfonylureas,

  • biguanides,

  • alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

  • thiazolidinediones (glitozones)

  • glitinides.

The diabetic medication table below provide your with information how each type of medication work to control your blood sugar levels, and possible side effects that it caused.

Type of Diabetic Medication






Brand names











How this diabetic medication work to lower blood glucose level

Fat Cells
Causes fat cells to take up more fatty acids and glucose, decreasing insulin resistance in muscles

Causes liver to produce less glucose


Small intestine
Delays absorption of glucose in small intestine


Stimulates the beta cells to make more insulin


Stimulate the beta cells to make more insulin


Side effects of the diabetic medication

  • Weight gain

  • Increased risk of hypoglycemia if combined with certain diabetes medication.

  • anemia, edema (fluid retention)
    liver irritation

  • Stomach upset or diarrhea, loose stools or uncontrollable bowel movement.


  • Diarrhea and tremendous production of gas.

  • Liver irritation


  • Hypoglycemia

  • Cold and flu like symptoms

  • diarrhea, joint aches, and back pain

  • rash and stomach upset

  • Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar level

  • Skin rashes, dark urine, stomach upset and increased sensitivity to sun


    Your doctors can consider one or more of these diabetic medications to control your blood glucose level.  However, do not take any of the above diabetic medications without prescription from your doctors.  Your physician will be able to inform you about the possible side effects of the above medications and whether or not it can be taken together with the other medication that you are currently taking



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