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Diabetic Medicine: What Are These and What Do They Do?

Diabetic Medicine: What Are These and What Do They Do?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects millions of people worldwide. For persons with type 1 diabetes, diabetic medicine is important when it comes to managing their condition. In the case of type 2 diabetes, patients can sometimes manage their condition with proper diet and exercise. However, doctors can also prescribe medication to help the patient better manage their condition.

Knowing the different types of diabetic medicine can help persons with diabetes take better care of their bodies. It also helps if they are aware of the potential side effects, so that they know what to expect when they take their medication. Here’s what you need to know.

What does diabetic medicine do?

As of now, there is no way to cure diabetes. While there are cases of patients being able to reverse type 2 diabetes, it takes a lot of effort and maintenance to keep things that way. In the case of type 1 diabetes, however, it is a lifelong condition that patients will need to stay on top of.

However, medication can help patients manage their condition, or even slow down the effects of diabetes1. People might be familiar with insulin, which is one of the ways that diabetes is managed. But this isn’t the only form of treatment for diabetes. Some medications can help patients better utilize insulin, while others help slow down the production of glucose in the body.

We will be discussing these medications in further detail.

Diabetic medicine: Which ones are usually prescribed?

Here are some of the common types of medication prescribed for diabetics:


Metformin is a type of medication that slows down the release of glucose from the liver2, and improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Patients take metformin in capsule form.

Possible side effects include diarrhea, metallic taste, and rarely, lactic acidosis. Doctors don’t prescribe this if the patient has liver or kidney problems, is taking heart medication, or drinks a lot of alcohol.


This is another type of diabetic medicine that helps decrease insulin resistance in the body3. This allows the body to absorb more glucose into its muscles, fat, and liver. Side effects can include swelling, weight gain, macular edema, as well as bone loss and fractures in women.

Doctors don’t prescribe this to patients with heart failure, or if they have liver problems.


Sulfonylureas work by helping the body release more insulin from the pancreas4. More insulin in the bloodstream can help lower blood sugar levels.

Some of the possible side effects of this medication can include low blood sugar and weight gain.


Insulin is one of the types of diabetic medicine that people are familiar with5. It is a hormone produced by a person’s pancreas, and it helps the body absorb glucose from the bloodstream and convert it into energy.

But in persons with type 1 diabetes, their pancreas stops producing insulin. If this happens, then injections of insulin are necessary to help manage blood sugar levels. Different types of insulin are used by patients with diabetes. Some forms of insulin work immediately, while others are longer-lasting.

Depending on what the patient ate, their current blood sugar levels, and their activities, they might need to inject different types of insulin.

Key Takeaways

Knowing diabetes medication can help diabetics better understand how to manage their condition. It also lets them know what side effects to watch out for.

Patients also need to follow their doctor’s recommendations on how often and how much of each medication to take. Lastly, while side effects are to be expected, it’s always a good idea to check in with the doctor if you are experiencing any particular discomfort. They can adjust the dosage or prescribe a different medication entirely.

Learn more about Diabetes here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated 2 days ago
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza