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Know Your Diabetes Medications Better: The Sugar Tablets Name List and How They Work

It is not uncommon to hear people say they do not wish to start sugar tablets for their diabetes because they will have to take them lifelong and manage the side effects. They try to manage their diabetes through diet, exercise, or alternative therapies and delay starting sugar tablets. This can be a very harmful approach.

Apart from the common diabetes symptoms in men, high blood sugar levels, in the long run, can cause serious complications such as nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, and many more. Thus, following our doctor’s instructions and strictly taking the diabetes medicines as prescribed is crucial.

This article has the sugar tablets’ name list and also explains how they differ from each other.

Oral pills for diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce any insulin. Thus, administering insulin through injections is the main treatment method.

People with type 2 diabetes either produce decreased amounts of insulin or their body cells become insulin resistant. Thus, the treatment approach for type 2 diabetes aims to promote insulin production by the pancreas and increase the insulin sensitivity of the cells. There are several classes of oral antidiabetic drugs.

Let us see the complete sugar tablets name list below.

1.  Sulfonylureas

Name: Glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta), glipizide (Glucotrol)

Mode of Action: Stimulate insulin release

2.  Meglitinides

Name: Nateglinide (Starlix) and repaglinide (Prandin)

Mode of Action: Stimulate insulin release

3.  Dipeptidyl-Peptidase 4 (DPP-4) Inhibitors

Name: Sitagliptin (Januvia), linagliptin (Tradjenta), saxagliptin (Onglyza)

Mode of Action: Encourage insulin release when blood sugar levels are rising. Prevent the liver from releasing glucose

4.  Thiazolidinediones

Name: Rosiglitazone (Avandia), pioglitazone (Actos)

Mode of Action: Improves insulin sensitivity. Blocks the liver’s release of glucose

5.  Biguanides

Name: Metformin (Glumetza, Riomet, Fortamet).

Mode of Action: Reduce the liver’s glucose release and increase insulin sensitivity

6.  Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors

Name: Acarbose, miglitol (Glyset)

Mode of Action: Slow down the breakdown of some carbohydrates and starches

7. Sodium-Glucose Co-Transporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors

Name: Canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), empagliflozin (Jardiance)

Mode of Action: Stop the kidneys from reabsorbing glucose

Combination oral tablets for diabetes

It is not uncommon to prescribe combination pills for the treatment of diabetes. These contain a combination of two drugs with different modes of action, thus increasing the efficacy of the medicine. Some common combinations of drugs used include:

  1. Metformin and glipizide (Metaglip)
  2. Metformin and glyburide (Glucovance)
  3. Rosiglitazone and glimepiride (Avandaryl)
  4. Rosiglitazone and metformin (Avandamet)
  5. Pioglitazone and glimepiride (Duetact)
  6. Pioglitazone and metformin (ACTOplus Met)
  7. Empagliflozin/linagliptin (Glyxambi)

Tips on starting a new diabetes medication

We should be patient when we start a new diabetes medication. Learning if the new medicine works well may take a few days. We should check our sugar levels regularly to see the effect of the medication.

We must inform our doctor if it is not helping us keep our sugar levels within the target range even after a few days or is causing hypoglycemia. Our physician may adjust the dosage or timing of the medication or change it.

Also read:

Common symptoms of diabetes in men

Listed below are some of the most commonly observed diabetes symptoms in men:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased appetite
  • Low testosterone levels
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Muscle mass loss
  • Lethargy
  • Drowsiness

Wrapping up

Diabetes cannot be cured but can be managed well with the help of the correct treatment approach, diet control, and healthy lifestyle changes. It is possible to lead a normal, active life even with diabetes if we learn the art of keeping our blood sugar levels within the target range. We should have a detailed discussion with our physician regarding the different treatment options available, the advantages and side effects, and mutually decide upon the best treatment plan.


Will I have to take diabetes medications all my life?

We may have to take diabetes medications lifelong. However, if we manage our blood sugars well with the help of diet and exercise, our doctor may reduce the dosage of our medications.

Do sugar tablets cause side effects?

Sugar tablets may cause certain side effects, which differ according to the class of medication. Some side effects include hypoglycemia, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, water retention, bloating, etc. We should inform our doctor if we have any of these side effects persistently. The doctor may adjust the dosage or change the medication.

Will I need insulin injections if I have diabetes?

A significant percentage of people with type 2 diabetes do not require insulin injections. Their blood sugars are adequately controlled with oral tablets. Only in the later stages may some people require insulin injections.

Sangita Kumari
Sangita Kumari
A law student at Vinoba Bhave University.

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