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Diabetes Medicines You Don’t Inject

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    Colesevelam (Welchol)

    How it works: Lowers “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and improves blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Your doctor will call this type of drug a “bile acid sequestrant.”

    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, Micronase)

    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.

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