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List of Medications for Type 2 Diabetes

written by: Sarah Mitchell • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 4/14/2011

Blood sugar levels may be hard to control for diabetics; therefore, diabetes medications may be required. There are various type 2 diabetes treatment options, including oral, injectable and pump therapy. View a comprehensive list of categories and classes of each medication for type 2 diabetes.

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    Type 2 Diabetes Treatment with Medications

    Medication for type 2 diabetes come in both oral and injectable forms. They may be prescribed alone or in conjunction with one another.

    Oral Form

    Oral diabetes medications work by lowering blood glucose levels, each working in its own distinctive manner. Between the American Diabetes Association and Diabetes Forecast, there are eight recognized classes of type 2 diabetes oral drugs, each with its own way of lowering blood sugars.

    Injectable Forms

    Insulin

    Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells within the pancreas. In a body free of diabetes, insulin is released during each meal so that it may utilize the glucose received from the food. Type 2 diabetics have the ability of making insulin; however, their bodies are resistant to it, or do not make use of the insulin properly. Some persons with type 2 diabetes may require insulin, generally injecting such therapy directly into the fat underneath the skin for proper absorption. Although syringe use is the norm, other methods of delivery include pump therapy and insulin pens.

    Other Injectable Medications

    There are three injectable medications – aside from insulin – employed to treat type 2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose, stimulating insulin production or enhancing insulin secretion.

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    Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

    Oral Medications

    Each of the following classes contain its own medication list(s):

    1. Sulfonylureas

    • chlorpropamide
      • Diabinese
    • glimepiride
      • Amaryl
    • glipizide
      • Glucotrol
      • Glucotrol XL (long-acting)
    • glyburide
      • DiaBeta
      • Micronase
    • glyburide (micronized)
      • Glynase
      • PresTab
    • tolazamide
      • Tolinase
    • tolbutamide
      • Orinase
      • Orinase Diagnostic
      • Tol-Tab

    2. Meglitinides

    • nateglinide
      • Starlix
    • repaglinide
      • Prandin

    3. Biguanides

    • metformin
      • Glucophage
      • Fortamet (long-acting)
      • Glucophage XR (long-acting)
      • Glumetza (long-acting)
      • Riomet (liquid)

    4. Thiazolidinediones

    • pioglitazone
      • Actos
    • rosiglitazone
      • Avandia

    5. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

    • acarbose
      • Precose
    • miglitol
      • Glyset

    6. DPP-4

    • saxagliptin
      • Onglyza
    • sitagliptin
      • Januvia

    7. Dopamine Agonist

    • bromocriptine
      • Cycloset

    8. Combination Pills

    • metformin + glyburide
      • Glucovance
    • metformin + rosiglitazone
      • Avandamet
    • metformin + glipizide
      • Metaglip
    • metformin + pioglitazone
      • Actoplus Met
    • metformin + sitagliptin
      • Janumet
    • metformin + repaglinide
      • PrandiMet
    • pioglitazone + glimepiride
      • Duetact
    • rosiglitazone + glimepiride
      • Avandaryl
    • metformin (long-acting) + saxagliptin
      • Kombiglyze XR

    Injectable Medications (non-insulin)

    • pramlintide acetate
      • Symlin
    • exenatide
      • Byetta
    • liraglutide
      • Victoza

    Insulin

    The Diabetes Forecast has pieced together a chart containing six different insulin types:[1]

    1. Rapid-acting

    • insulin glulisine
      • Apidra
    • insulin lispro
      • Humalog
    • insulin aspart
      • NovoLog

    2. Regular

    • Humulin R
    • Novolin R
    • ReliOn

    3. Intermediate-Acting

    • NPH
      • Humulin N
      • Novolin N
      • ReliOn

    4. Long-Acting

    • insulin detemir
      • Levemir
    • insulin glargine
      • Lantus

    5. Mixtures

    • 70% NPH / 30% regular
      • Humulin 70/30
      • Novolin 70/30
      • ReliOn
    • 50% lispro protamine / 50% insulin lispro
      • Humalog Mix 50/50
    • 75% lispro protamine (NPL) / 25% lispro
      • Humalog Mix 75/25
    • 70% aspart protamine / 30% aspart
      • NovoLog Mix 70/30

    6. Insulin not commonly used

    • Regular
      • Humulin R U-500
    • 50% NPH / 50% regular
      • Humulin 50/50

    Insulin Pens

    The following are insulin pens listed on the Diabetes Forecast’s “2011 Consumer Guide":[2]

    • Autopen Classic by Owen Mumford
      • With Humalog insulin
    • Humalog KwikPen by Eli Lilly
      • With Humalog, Humalog Mix 75/25 or Humalog Mix 50/50 insulin
    • HumaPen Luxura HD by Eli Lilly
      • With Humalog insulin
    • HumaPen Memoir by Eli Lilly
      • With Humalog insulin
    • Original Prefilled Pen by Eli Lilly
      • With Humulin N or Humulin 70/30 insulin
    • FlexPen by Novo Nordisk
      • With Levemir, NovoLog or NovoLog Mix 70/30 insulin
    • NovoPen 3 by Novo Nordisk
      • With NovoLog insulin
    • NovoPen Junior by Novo Nordisk
      • With NovoLog insulin
    • SoloStar by Sanofi-Aventis
      • With Apidra or Lantus insulin
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