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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:

  • Biguanides, such as metformin and other medicines that are combined with metformin
  • Thiazolidinediones, such as pioglitazone and rosiglitazone

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.

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