Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Type 2 Diabetes in Children - Medications

The same medicines are used to treat adults and children with type 2 diabetes. These medicines increase insulin production, make the body better able to use insulin (decrease insulin resistance), or slow the intestinal absorption of carbohydrate.

Sometimes a child needs more than one medicine to adequately control diabetes. Two or more medicines taken together may work more effectively than a single medicine. Taking two medicines together also may reduce possible side effects by allowing lower doses of each. But in some cases, taking two medicines can increase the risk of certain side effects, such as low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Some children need daily insulin shots—alone or with other medicines. Even if your doctor does not prescribe daily insulin, your child may need to take insulin temporarily when first diagnosed or during illness or surgery. At some point in adulthood, he or she will likely need insulin, because over time the pancreas camera.gif does not produce enough insulin. Insulin also may be needed during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

If your child has high cholesterol or high blood pressure, medicine for those conditions may be needed. Even blood pressure slightly above normal increases the risk for eye and kidney damage from diabetes.

Medicine choices

Medicines that decrease insulin resistance:

Medicines that increase insulin production:

Medicines that slow intestinal absorption of carbohydrate:

If you are having trouble controlling your blood sugar with pills, your doctor may suggest one of these medicines, which are given as a shot:

Some doctors treat children with insulin injections.

Medicines to control blood pressure and cholesterol

Some children may need medicines to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol to reduce the risk for later complications.

What to think about

Metformin is the medicine of choice for children with type 2 diabetes. It usually keeps blood sugar levels within a target range without increasing the likelihood that the child will gain weight. If after 3 to 6 months of treatment with metformin the child's blood sugar levels are not consistently within a target range, other medicine usually is added.

Insulin may be given as a single nighttime dose, as several smaller doses throughout the day, or both. Insulin doses for children with type 2 diabetes are usually high—to overcome the body's resistance to insulin—which may increase the risk for weight gain.

Although alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are safe for children, they may cause abdominal gas, making them less acceptable to teens than other diabetes medicines.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 28, 2012
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.
Next Article:

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Woman holding cake
Slideshow
feet
Slideshow
 
man organizing pills
Slideshow
Close up of eye
Slideshow
 

Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article