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  • How do they work?
  • Metformin Types
  • Insulin Types
  • Non-Metformin Types
   
Diabetes Medicines
The different kinds of diabetes medicines are listed below. The brand names and other names are given for each drug. There are also some general tips about each kind of diabetes medicine. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to tell you the side effects and warnings for the medicines you are taking. This guide does not give all of the side effects or warnings for each drug.
   
Meglitinide Drugs  
How do they work? This type of pill helps your body make more insulin for a short period of time right after meals. The insulin helps keep your blood glucose from going too high after you eat, a common problem in people with diabetes.
Brand Name Other Name
Prandin Repaglinide
Starlix Nateglinide
 

Some Things To Think About
 
Before you start taking these medicines, tell your health provider if:
  • you have liver or kidney problems
  • you are pregnant or breastfeeding
 
Common Side Effects  
  • Hypogylcemia (blood sugar that is too low)
 

Alpha-glucosidase Inhibitors  
How do they work? This type of pill helps keep your blood glucose from going too high after you eat, a common problem in people with diabetes. It works by slowing down the digestion of foods high in carbohydrate, such as rice, potatoes, bread, milk, and fruit.
Brand Name Other Names
Glyset Miglitol
Precose Acarbose
 

Some Things To Think About
 
  • These medicines are not likely to cause weight gain or blood sugar that is too low
  • Before you start taking this drug, tell your doctor if:
    • you have heart, liver, or kidney problems
    • you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Common Side Effects  
  • Stomach Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Abnormal Liver Tests
 

Thiazolidinedione Drugs  
How do they work? These pills help the cells in your body use glucose. This type of pill helps treat insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, your body doesn't use insulin the way it should. Thiazolidinediones help your insulin work properly. Then your blood glucose levels stay on target and your cells get the energy they need.
Brand Name Other Names
Actos Pioglitazone
Avandia Rosiglitazone
 


Some Things To Think About

  • These medicines are not likely to cause blood sugar that is too low.
  • These medicines may raise your chance of having a broken bone (fracture).
  • Before you start taking these medicines, tell your doctor if you have heart failure or liver problems.
  • Rosiglitazone (Avandia) may raise the risk of heart problems related to reduced blood flow to the heart.
  • Rosiglitazone (Avandia) is not recommended for people who take nitrates or insulin.
Common Side Effects
  • Fluid Retention
  • Weight Gain
  • Heart Failure (heart cannot pump blood well)
  • Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
In September 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restricted access to Avandia. The FDA based this decision on studies linking Avandia to an increased risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.

If you are currently taking Avandia: Discuss treatment options with your doctor before stopping your diabetes medicines. Stopping your diabetes medicines without talking with your doctor can cause serious short-term health problems and could increase the risk of long-term diabetes-related complications.

Visit www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm226976.htm or call the FDA at 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332) for more information about the FDA's restrictions on the use of Avandia.

DPP-4 Inhibitors  
How do they work? This type of pill lowers your blood glucose by helping your body make more insulin when it's needed, especially right after meals. It also helps keep your liver from putting stored glucose into your blood.
Brand Name Other Name
Januvia Sitagliptin
Onglyza Saxagliptin
Tradjenta Linagliptin
 

Some Things To Think About
 
Call your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain with or without nausea or vomiting. This may be a sign of a serious side effect.
Common Side Effects  
  • Upper Respiratory Infection
  • Headache
 

Biguanide Drugs  
How do they work? This type of medicine, which comes in pill or liquid form, lowers the amount of glucose made by your liver. Then your blood glucose levels don't go too high. This type of medicine also helps treat insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, your body doesn't use insulin the way it should. When your insulin works properly, your blood glucose levels stay on target and your cells get the energy they need. This type of medicine improves your cholesterol levels. It also may help you lose weight.
Brand Name Other Name
Fortamet Metformin
Glucophage Metformin
Glucophage XR Metformin
Glumetza Metformin
Riomet Metformin
 

Some Things To Think About
 
  • These medicines are not likely to cause weight gain or blood sugar that is too low.
  • People who drink a lot of alcohol and people with kidney problems may have a rare side effect called lactic acidosis. This causes acid to build up in the blood.
  • Talk to your doctor about your kidney health before you start and while you are taking this type of medicine.
Common Side Effects  
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Feeling Weak
  • Headache
  • Nausea and Vomiting
 
Sometimes you'll need to stop taking this type of medicine for a short time so you can avoid developing lactic acidosis. If you have severe vomiting, diarrhea, or a fever, or if you can't keep fluids down, call your doctor right away. You should also talk with your doctor well ahead of time about stopping this type of medicine if
  • you'll be having special x rays that require an injection of dye
  • you'll be having surgery

Sulfonylureas Drugs  
How do they work? These pills help your body make more insulin.
Brand Name Other Name
Amaryl Glimepiride
Diabeta Glyburide
Glynase
Glucotrol Glipizide
Glucotrol XL
* Tolbutamide
* Tolazamide
Diabinese Chlorpropamide
 

Some Things To Think About
 
  • Before you start taking this drug, tell your health care provider if you have heart, liver, or kidney problems.
  • Older adults and people with kidney or liver problems may be more likely to have low blood sugar when taking these medicines.
Common Side Effects  
  • Hypoglycemia (blood sugar that is too low)
  • Weight Gain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
 

Bile Acid Sequestrants  
How do they work? It is not clear how this pill works for diabetes.
Brand Name Other Name
Welchol Colesevelam
 

Some Things To Think About
 
  • This medicine is also used to treat high cholesterol.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking other cholesterol medicines.
Common Side Effects  
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
 

Dopamine Receptor Agonists  
How do they work?This pill affects a chemical called dopamine in your cells. It is not clear how this pill works for diabetes.
Brand Name Other Name
Cycloset Bromocriptine
 

Some Things To Think About
 
  • Do not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
Common Side Effects  
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Feel Tired
  • Feel Dizzy
  • Vomiting
 

Combination Drugs  
  • Actoplus Met is a combination of two types of pills. One pill lowers the amount of glucose made by your liver. Both types help your insulin work the way it should.
  • Avandamet is a combination of two types of pills. One pill lowers the amount of glucose made by your liver. Both types help your insulin work the way it should.
  • Avandaryl is a combination of two types of pills. One pill helps your insulin work the way it should. The other pill helps your body make more insulin.
  • Duetact is a combination of two types of pills. One pill helps your insulin work the way it should. The other pill helps your body make more insulin.
  • Glucovance is a combination of two types of pills. One pill helps your body make more insulin. The other pill lowers the amount of glucose made by your liver and helps your insulin work the way it should.
  • Janumet is a combination of two types of pills. One pill helps your body make more insulin when it's needed, especially right after meals. It also helps keep your liver from putting stored glucose into your blood. The other pill lowers the amount of glucose made by your liver and helps your insulin work the way it should.
  • Metaglip is a combination of two types of pills. One pill helps your body make more insulin. The other pill lowers the amount of glucose made by your liver and helps your insulin work the way it should.
Brand Name Other Name
ActoPlus Met Pioglitazone and Metformin
ActoPlus Met XR Pioglitazone and Metformin
Avandamet Rosiglitazone and Metformin
Avandaryl Rosiglitazone and Glimepiride
Duetact Pioglitazone and Glimepiride
Glucovance Glyburide and Metformin
Janumet Sitagliptin and Metformin
Kombiglyze Saxagliptin and Metformin
Metaglip Glipizide and Metformin
PrandiMet Repaglinide and Metformin
 

Some Things To Think About
 
  • These combinations are made up of two kinds of diabetes medicines. The side effects depend on which two medicines are in the pill.
  • Ask your doctor the side effects about the pill you are taking.
  • Ask your doctor the facts about the pill you are taking.
Common Side Effects  
  • Hypoglycemia (blood sugar that is too low)
  • Weight Gain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
 

Other Diabetes Medicines  
 
Brand Name Other Name
Byetta Exenatide
Symlin Pramlinitide Acetate
Victoza Liraglutide
 

Some Things To Think About
 
Some people with diabetes can take these medicines that you inject under your skin.
  • These medicines are not the same as insulin.
  • These medicines are usually taken with meals.
  • Some people feel nauseous when they first start taking these medicines.
  • People with type 1 diabetes should not take Byetta or Victoza.
  • People who use insulin can also use Symlin.
  • Do not mix Symlin and insulin in the same injection (shot).
Check the FDA website for the latest facts on each product.

Metformin Types

Actoplus MET® (Pioglitazone-metformin)* Biguanides® (Metformin)*
Janumet® (Sitagliptin-metformin)* Fortamet® (Metformin)*
Kombiglyze XR® (Saxagliptin-metformin)* Glumetza® (Metfromin)*
Metaglip® (Glipizide-metformin) * Glucophage® (Metformin)*
Prandimet® (Repaglinide-metformin)* RIOMET® (Metformin)*
Glucovance®(Glyburide-metformin)*/** Glipizide® (Metformin)*
Informet® CoDiaglit, Diactin, Diaglit, DiaPr , Diaryl and Premil  
Price Level *Fatal condition: Lactic Acidosis ** Generic

Metformin Information

Metformin was approved for use in the U.S. for treatment of type 2 diabetes in December, 1994. It is sold under the brand name Glucophage and is also available generically.Metformin is approved for treatment with sulfonylureas, or with insulin, or as monotherapy (by itself). Glucophage XR Extended Release tablets, a once daily version of metformin, is available. Also, metformin is available as part of combination products with two different sulfonylureas (glyburide and glipizide), called Glucovance and Metaglip, respectively.

In February, 1998, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced revised labeling for the use of Glucophage in patients requiring radiologic studies involving intravascular administration of iodinated contrast materials. (That is, in situations where a person on Glucophage will need X-rays using an injection of "dye" to help get better-appearing X-ray results, such as studies of blood vessels and the interior of the heart.)Revised labeling for use when radiologic studies are planned "is based on the experience of leading radiologists, the short half-life of Glucophage (6 hours), and its relatively rapid clearance by the kidneys. the labeling now recommends that:* Glucophage should be stopped at the time of or prior to the procedure.

Glucophage should then be withheld for 48 hours after the procedure. Once renal function is found to be normal, Glucophage therapy can be started again." (Per Feburary 1998 letter from BMS.) PATIENT INFORMATION (Revised April 2003)GLUCOPHAGE metformin hydrochloride tablets) and GLUCOPHAGE (metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets)Read this information carefully before you start taking this medicine and each time you refill your prescription, there may be new information. This information does not take the place of your doctor's advice, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand some of this information or if you want to know more about this medicine.

What are GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR?

GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR are used to treat type 2 diabetes. this is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. People with type II diabetes are not able to make enough insulin or respond normally to the insulin their bodies make, when this happens, sugar (glucose) builds up in the blood. This can lead to serious medical problems including kidney damage, amputations, and blindness. Diabetes is also closely linked to heart disease. the main goal of treating diabetes is to lower your blood sugar to a normal level. High blood sugar can be lowered by diet and exercise, by a number of medicines taken by mouth, and by insulin shots. Before you take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR, try to control your diabetes by exercise and weight loss. while you take your diabetes medicine, continue to exercise and follow the diet advised for your diabetes. no matter what your recommended diabetes management plan is, studies have shown that maintaining good blood sugar control can prevent or delay complications of diabetes, such as blindness.

GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR have the same active ingredient. however, GLUCOPHAGE XR works longer in your body. Both of these medicines help control your blood sugar in a number of ways. these include helping your body respond better to the insulin it makes naturally, decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes, and decreasing the amount of sugar your intestines absorb. GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR do not cause your body to make more insulin. Because of this, when taken alone, they rarely cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and usually do not cause weight gain. however, when they are taken with a sulfonylurea or with insulin, hypoglycemia is more likely to occur, as is weight gain.

WARNING: A small number of people who have taken GLUCOPHAGE have developed a serious condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in the blood. this happens more often in people with kidney problems.Most people with kidney problems should not take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR. (See "what are the side effects of GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR")

Who should not take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR? Some conditions increase your chance of getting lactic acidosis, or cause other problems if you take either of these medicines. Most of the conditions listed below can increase your chance of getting lactic acidosis. Do not take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR if:

  • You have kidney problems
  • You have liver problems
  • You have heart failure that is treated with medicines, such as Lanoxin oxin) or Lasix osemide
  • drink a lot of alcohol. this means you binge drink for short periods or drink all the time* are seriously dehydrated (have lost a lot of water from your body)
  • Are going to have an x-ray procedure with injection of dyes (contrast agents)
  • Are going to have surgery
  • Develop a serious condition, such as heart attack, severe infection, or a stroke
  • Are 80 years or older and you have NOT had your kidney function tested

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR may not be right for you. Talk with your doctor about your choices. You should also discuss your choices with your doctor if you are nursing a child. Can GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR be used in children?

GLUCOPHAGE has been shown to effectively lower glucose levels in children (ages 10 to 16 years) with type 2 diabetes. GLUCOPHAGE has not been studied in children younger than 10 years old. GLUCOPHAGE has not been studied in combination with other oral glucose-control medicines or insulin in children. If you have any questions about the use of GLUCOPHAGE in children, talk with your doctor or other healthcare provider. GLUCOPHAGE XR has not been studied in children.

How should I take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR?
Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take and when to take it. You will probably start out with a low dose of the medicine, your doctor may slowly increase your dose until your blood sugar is better controlled. You should take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR with meals, your doctor may have you take other medicines along with GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR to control your blood sugar. These medicines may include insulin shots, taking GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR with insulin may help you better control your blood sugar while reducing the insulin dose. Continue your exercise and diet program(?) and test your blood sugar 4 times per day while taking GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR. Your doctor will monitor your diabetes and may perform blood tests on you from every month for the first six month to make sure your kidneys and your liver are functioning normally. There is no evidence that GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR causes harm to the liver or kidneys. Tell your doctor if you have an illness that causes severe vomiting, diarrhea or fever, or if you drink a much lower amount of liquid than normal. These conditions can lead to severe dehydration (loss of water in your body). You may need to stop taking GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR for a short time. Plan to have surgery or an x-ray procedure with injection of dye (contrast agent). You may need to stop taking GLUCOPHAGE (metformin hydrochloride tablets) or GLUCOPHAGE XR (metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets) for a short time. Start to take other medicines or change how you take a medicine. GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR can affect how well other drugs work, and some drugs can affect how well GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR work. Some medicines may cause high blood sugar. GLUCOPHAGE XR must be swallowed whole and never crushed or chewed. Occasionally, the inactive of GLUCOPHAGE XR may be eliminated as a soft mass in your stool that may look like the original tablet; this is not harmful and will not affect the way GLUCOPHAGE XR works to control your diabetes.

What should I avoid while taking GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR?
Do not drink a lot of alcoholic drinks while taking GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR, this means you should not binge drink for short periods, and you should not drink a lot of alcohol on a regular basis. Alcohol can increase the chance of getting lactic acidosis.

What are the side effects of GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR?

In rare cases, GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR can cause a serious side effect called lactic acidosis. This is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in your blood, this build-up can cause serious damage. Lactic acidosis caused by GLUCOPHAGE (metformin hydrochloride tablets) and GLUCOPHAGE XR (metformin hydrochloride extended release tablets) is rare and has occurred mostly in people whose kidneys were not working normally. Lactic acidosis has been reported in about one in 33,000 patients taking GLUCOPHAGE over the course of a year. Although rare, if lactic acidosis does occur, it can be fatal in up to half the people who develop it. It is also important for your liver to be working normally when you take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR. Your liver helps remove lactic acid from your blood. Make sure you tell your doctor before you use GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR if you have kidney or liver problems. You should also stop using GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR and call your doctor right away if you have signs of lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency that must be treated in a hospital.Signs of lactic acidosis are:

  • Feeling very weak, tired, or uncomfortable
  • Unusual muscle pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unusual or unexpected stomach discomfort
  • Feeling cold
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Suddenly developing a slow or irregular heartbeat

If your medical condition suddenly changes, stop taking GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR and call your doctor right away, this may be a sign of lactic acidosis or another serious side effect .Other side EffectsCommon side effects of GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR include diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach, these side effects generally go away after you take the medicine for a while, taking your medicine with meals can help reduce these side effects. Tell your doctor if the side effects bother you a lot, last for more than a few weeks, come back after they've gone away, or start later in therapy. You may need a lower dose or need to stop taking the medicine for a short period or for good. About 3 out of every 100 people who take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR have an unpleasant metallic taste when they start taking the medicine. It lasts for a short time. GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR rarely cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) by themselves, however, hypoglycemia can happen if you do not eat enough, if you drink alcohol, or if you take other medicines to lower blood sugar. General advice about prescription medicines, If you have questions or problems, talk with your doctor or other healthcare provider. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for the information about GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR that is written for health care professionals. Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a patient information leaflet.

Do not use GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not share your medicine with other people .GLUCOPHAGE registered trademark of Merck Sant Squinn Compaby., an associate of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany. Licensed to Bristol-Myers Squibb Compan.



CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your health care professional. Always seek the advice of your health care professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your health care professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you.


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