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Guide to Diabetes Medication

There are a few different types of medications to treat diabetes. Some of these medicines are taken by mouth, and others are injections.


Type 1 Diabetes


For type 1 diabetes, insulin is the main treatment because it replaces the hormone your body isn’t able to produce naturally.


Here are the 4 types of insulin that are most commonly used:


  • Rapid-acting insulin starts to work within 15 minutes and its effects last for 3 to 4 hours.

  • Short-acting insulin starts to work within 30 minutes and lasts 6 to 8 hours.

  • Intermediate-acting insulin starts to work within 1 to 2 hours and lasts 12 to 18 hours.

  • Long-acting insulin starts to work a few hours after injection and lasts 24 hours or longer.


Type 2 diabetes


Diet and exercise can help some people manage type 2 diabetes. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower your blood sugar, your doctor will likely prescribe medication. 


The following are some of the medications that doctors usually prescribe to help lower blood sugar: 


  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: This type of medication slows your body’s breakdown of sugars and starchy foods. 

  • Biguanides: These medicines help reduce the amount of glucose your liver makes.

  • DPP-4 inhibitors: Helps improve your blood sugar without it dropping too low.

  • Glucagon-like peptides: This medicine helps change the way your body produces insulin. 

  • Meglitinides: Helps stimulate your pancreas to release more insulin.

  • SGLT2 inhibitors: This medicine helps to release more glucose into the urine. 

  • Sulfonylureas: Helps stimulate your pancreas to also release more insulin. 

  • Thiazolidinediones: This medicine helps insulin work more efficiently. 

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