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    Meglitinides for Type 2 Diabetes

    Examples

    Generic Name Brand Name
    nateglinide Starlix
    repaglinide Prandin

    Nateglinide (Starlix), repaglinide (Prandin), and the combination medicine repaglinide and metformin (Prandimet) help stop the rapid rise in blood sugar levels that can occur immediately after a person with type 2 diabetes eats.

    How It Works

    Meglitinides increase the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas, which lowers blood sugar.

    Meglitinides work quickly and do not stay in the body long, so they need to be taken at or just before each meal.

    Why It Is Used

    Meglitinides are used to treat type 2 diabetes in people whose blood sugar levels have not stayed within a target range even though the people are being active and eating healthy foods.

    Both meglitinides and sulfonylurea medicines increase the amount of insulin made by the pancreas, but some people have problems with weight gain and low blood sugar with sulfonylureas. Meglitinides seem to cause less weight gain and low blood sugar compared to sulfonylureas.

    Because meglitinides work quickly and do not stay in the body long, they are good for people who do not or cannot eat on the same schedule each day.

    How Well It Works

    Diabetes medicines work best for people who are being active and eating healthy foods. Studies have suggested that meglitinides lower hemoglobin A1c by 0.5% to 1.5%.1

    Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can get worse over time, so medicines may need to change.

    Side Effects

    All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

    Here are some important things to think about:

    • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
    • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
    • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

    Call911or other emergency services right away if you have:

    Call your doctor if you have:

    Common side effects of this medicine include:

    See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

    What To Think About

    Taking medicine

    Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

    There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

    Advice for women

    If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.

    Checkups

    Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

    Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

    Citations

    1. Inzucchi SE, et al. (2012). Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes: A patient-centered approach. Diabetes Care, 35(6): 1364-1379.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

    Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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