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Diabetes Health Center

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Diabetes Medicines You Don’t Inject

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Dapagliflozin (Farxiga)

How it works: Boosts how much glucose leaves your body in urine, and blocks your kidney from reabsorbing glucose. Your doctor may call this type of drug a “SGLT2 inhibitor.”

Empagliflozin (Jardiance)

How it works: Boosts how much glucose leaves your body in urine, and blocks your kidney from reabsorbing glucose. Your doctor may call this type of drug a “SGLT2 inhibitor.”

Glimepiride (Amaryl)

How it works: Lowers blood sugar by prompting the pancreas to release more insulin. Your doctor may call this type of drug “sulfonylureas.” Side effects of sulfonylureas include:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Upset stomach
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Weight gain

Glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL)

How it works: Lowers blood sugar by prompting the pancreas to release more insulin. Your doctor may call this type of drug “sulfonylureas.” Side effects of sulfonylureas include:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Upset stomach
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Weight gain

Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab)

How it works: Lowers blood sugar by prompting the pancreas to release more insulin. Your doctor may call this type of drug “sulfonylureas.” Side effects of sulfonylureas include:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Upset stomach
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Weight gain

Inhaled Insulin (Afrezza)

How you take it: You put a cartridge, which contains a dose of this powdered, rapid-acting insulin, into an inhaler, and you use it before meals or soon after you start to eat.

How it works: The insulin quickly moves from lung cells into the bloodstream. It doesn’t replace long-acting insulin (which you can’t inhale). You should not use it if you have a long-term lung disease, such as asthma or COPD, or if you smoke. It’s not recommended for treating diabetic ketoacidosis.

Linagliptin (Tradjenta)

How it works: Boosts insulin levels when blood sugars are too high, and tells the liver to cut back on making sugars. Your doctor may call this type of drug a “DPP-IV inhibitor.” These drugs do not cause weight gain. You may take them alone or with another drug, like metformin.

Metformin (Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet)

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