There are several oral medications available for Type II Diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes to increase body’s response to insulin and regulate the blood sugar levels. There are more than 18 types of drugs available in the market nowadays.
These oral hypoglycemic drugs include:
- Alpha glucosidase inhibitors (AGIs) – These drugs help in slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates. An example of this class of drugs is Glucobay which is also known as Acarbose and greatly slows down the carbohydrate digestion process.
- Amylin agonists – Examples of this type of medication include Symlin or pramlintide that assist insulin in controlling post-meal glucose levels.
- Biguanidecs – These drugs prevents glucose production by the liver. Metformin is a common drug which can also help in increasing the sensitivity of the tissues of the body to insulin. Examples of biguanides include Glumetza and Glucophage. Some of the possible side effects that may be caused by this class of drugs include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
- Gliptins or DPP-4 inhibitors – These medications prevent the destruction of Incretin hormones but have very small effect on reducing the levels of blood sugar. Examples of this class of medication include Tradjenta, Januvia, Onglyza, Sitagliptin, Vildagliptin and Saxagliptin.
- Megalintides – Similar to Sulphonylureas, these drugs help the body to produce more insulin but prove to be much faster acting and have a shorter lasting effect on the body. Possible side effects of megalintides include extremely low blood sugar levels and excessive gain of weight. Examples of megalintide drugs include Starlix and Prandin.
- GLP-1 Receptor Agonists or Incretin mimetic – These medications tend to mimic the actions of body’s Incretin hormone, but have very humble effect in reducing the blood sugar levels. Examples of this class of drugs include Victoza and Byetta.
- Thiazolidinedione or glitazones – These medications reduces the resistance of the body to insulin. However, this class of drugs is known to be associated with a number of side effects, including a higher risk of developing fractures and also failure of the heart. Examples of this class of medication include Actos and Avandia.
- Sulphonylureas – These drugs stimulate the insulin production by the pancreas. Common examples of Sulphonylureas include Glynase, DiaBeta, Glucotrol and Amaryl. However, possible side effects of Sulphonylureas include gaining of weight and very low blood sugar levels.
- SGL T2 inhibitors or gliflozins – These drugs lowers the blood glucose levels by acting on the kidneys and preventing them from reabsorbing the sugar back into the blood stream. The excess sugar is excreted out through the urine. Examples of this class of drugs include Farxiga and Invokana.
- Glinides or prandial glucose regulators – Prandin, also known as Repaglinide stimulates beta cells in pancreas to produce insulin and may be used to help Type II Diabetes sufferers.
Insulin therapy may also be administered to Type II Diabetes patients in case of requirements. Insulin always needs to be administered externally and not orally as the enzymes present in the human stomach prove to interfere with the hormone. Insulin drugs may be administered either using an insulin pump or an insulin injection.