Today, the most effective approach for diagnosing type 2 diabetes in the US is through the use of the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. With this blood test, it becomes pretty easy to identify the average level of your blood sugar in the past 3 months. When type 2 diabetes is confirmed (usually with a 6.5% or higher result discovered during the blood test), your doctor will advise different treatment options. Lifestyle modifications, blood sugar monitoring, and the use of insulin therapy or diabetes medication, such as Sitagliptin (Januvia) and repaglinide, are some common treatment options.
In the rest of this post, we’ll only focus on diabetes medications, including how to pick a suitable one to manage your symptoms.
Is diabetes treatment important for type 2 diabetes?
Is diabetes treatment important for type 2 diabetes patients? The simple and direct answer is yes; this is especially true for younger people. Type 2 diabetes treatment aims to help lower your blood sugar level and avoid further health complications.
In case you don’t know, diabetes is a result of high blood sugar levels in the body. If your body system experiences more of this condition continuously, your blood vessels and nerves may become less functioning as a result.
The good news is that there exist several different classes of drugs for type 2 diabetes treatment. The interesting part, however, is that these drugs have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, some drugs are designed to work on the pancreas, resulting in the production of more insulin. Furthermore, certain drugs are designed to work on the liver, limiting its ability to produce more sugar than normal. That’s not all; certain medicines are designed to work on your body cells by improving their insulin sensitivity.
3 common Classes of type 2 diabetes & benefits
As earlier mentioned, symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be treated with different classes of drugs. Interestingly, each of these drug classes has plenty of brands you can choose from to manage and treat your symptoms.
Below are the top 7 drug classes (including their brand names) for treating type 2 diabetes:
1. Dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 inhibitors
Dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 inhibitors, also known as DPP-4 inhibitors, are very effective in treating type 2 diabetes. All drugs that fall under this category work by blocking the action of DPP-4 in your body system. In case you don’t know, DPP-4 is a type of enzyme that destroys hormone incretins. When this happens, there’ll be no control over the amount of glucose produced by the liver. In addition, damaged hormone incretins can also reduce the rate at which insulin is produced.
That said, below are a few common drugs and brand names under this category:
- Sitagliptin (Januvia)
- Linagliptin (Tradjenta)
- Saxagliptin (Onglyza)
- Alogliptin (Nesina)
These drugs are ideal for patients looking to treat type 2 diabetes without dropping too much blood sugar levels or gaining too any weight.
2. GLP-1 receptor agonists
Another class of drugs that’s effective in treating type 2 diabetes is Incretin mimetic. This drug class is referred to as GLP-1 (or Glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonists. In simple terms, all drugs under this category work by imitating or copying how your body’s normal incretin hormones function.
Some common functions of these hormones are:
- These drugs function by working on the pancreas to stimulate the release of more insulin, as required by the body.
- They also function by inhibiting the production of glycogen, a type of hormone that triggers your liver’s release of more sugar.
- These drugs also work by lowering the rate at which your bloodstream can absorb glucose.
Some common drugs and brands under this type 2 diabetes medicine category are:
- Semaglutide, such as Rybelsus, Ozempic, and Wegovy.
- Dulaglutide (Trulicity)
- Exenatide (Bydureon Bcise)
- Liraglutide (Saxenda)
- Lixisenatide (Adlyxin)
Meglitinides are effective oral medications for treating type 2 diabetes. These anti-diabetes drugs work by stimulating the release of insulin. This process happens in your body’s pancreatic beta cells.
You should consider this drug if you’re looking for anti-diabetes drugs that can deliver quick results. Although Meglitinides work quickly, you need to understand they also have their weaknesses. For instance, these drugs can make your blood sugar levels drop too low. They may also cause weight gain.
Which drugs should you go for?
According to our health experts at Northside Meds, your choice of the right drugs for type 2 diabetes should only be influenced by your doctor’s opinion.
This is because all anti-diabetes drugs are never created the same way. Diabetes medications that work for other people may end up being ineffective for you, and vice versa. By speaking with your physician, a proper diagnosis will be performed to identify a suitable medication for your symptoms.
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