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What drugs are used to treat type 2 diabetes?

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  • Drugs for type 2 diabetes work in different ways to bring blood sugar levels back to normal. They include: Drugs that increases insulin production by the pancreas, including chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glimepiride, (Amaryl), glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase), nateglinide (Starlix), and repaglinide (Prandin)
  • Drugs that decrease sugar absorption by the intestines, such as acarbose (Precose) and miglitol (Glyset)
  • Drugs that improve how the body uses insulin, such as pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia)
  • Drugs that decrease sugar production by the liver and improve insulin resistance, like metformin (Glucophage)
  • Drugs that increase insulin production by the pancreas or its blood levels and/or reduce sugar production from the liver, including alogliptin (Nesina), dulaglutide (Trulicity), linagliptin (Tradjenta), exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon), liraglutide (Victoza), lixisenatide (Adlyxin), saxagliptin (Onglyza), semaglutide (Ozempic), and sitagliptin (Januvia)
  • Drugs that block the reabsorption of glucose by the kidney and increase glucose excretions in urine, called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors. They are canaglifozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Jardiance).
  • Pramlinitide (Symlin) is an injectable synthetic hormone. It helps lower blood sugar after meals in people with diabetes who use insulin.

Some pills contain more than one type of diabetes medication. They include the recently approved empagliflozin/linagliptin (Glyxambi). It combines a SGLT2 inhibitor that blocks reabsorption of glucose into the kidneys with a DPP-4 inhibitor which increases hormones to help the pancreas produce more insulin and the liver produce less glucose.

SOURCES: 

News release, FDA. 

American Family Physician. 

National Diabetes Education Program. 

American Diabetes Association. 

Clinical Diabetes Journal. 

WebMD Health News: "FDA Restricts Use of Diabetes Drug Avandia." 

News release, FDA: '' Actos (pioglitazone): Ongoing Safety Review - Potential Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on January 12, 2018

SOURCES: 

News release, FDA. 

American Family Physician. 

National Diabetes Education Program. 

American Diabetes Association. 

Clinical Diabetes Journal. 

WebMD Health News: "FDA Restricts Use of Diabetes Drug Avandia." 

News release, FDA: '' Actos (pioglitazone): Ongoing Safety Review - Potential Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on January 12, 2018

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