Medications for type 2 diabetes (2/5)

4746653392_dbe638bcd0_oMedications are given to people with type 2 diabetes to help manage their blood glucose levels in conjunction with healthy dietary habits and daily physical activities. As a consultant pharmacist, I aim to enhance quality use of medicines. PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR DOCTOR REGARDING YOUR SPECIFIC TREATMENTS.

The following information is designed to give you an overview of current treatment options available in Australia to help lowering blood glucose levels. For more detailed information, such as side effects and precautions, please speak with your pharmacist and ask for a CMI (Consumer Medicine Information) printout on your particular medication. Since there may be many brands on some medications, I have provided the chemical name of each medication to avoid confusion.

Sulfonylureas (include glibenclaimide, gliclazide, glimepiride and glipizide)

  • Mode of action: stimulates pancreas to produce more insulin.
  • Best taken WITH FOOD to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia.
  • Can cause hypoglycaemia so it is important you discuss with your doctor or diabetes educator on how to prevent and treat hypoglycaemia.
  • Side effects: weight gain and hypoglycaemia (infrequently nausea, diarrhoea, metallic taste, rash and rarely blood disorders and jaundice).
  • Not recommended for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Dosage: usually started at a low dose and increased slowly as diabetes progresses.
Viv Hsu
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