Diabetes Drugs: Exercise


Thus far, this series has been focused on pharmacological methods for treating diabetes. Today, we turn to exercise, which research has shown to be very effective for both preventing and treating this condition…



Meglitinides act in a similar manner to the sulfonylureas but with a few major differences…

Diabetes Drugs: DPP-4 Inhibitors


DPP-4 inhibitors, a relatively new class of drugs for Type 2 diabetes, were introduced in 2006. Sitagliptin (brand name Januvia), the first medicine in this class, was approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes in October 2006; in July 2009, a second DPP-4 inhibitor, saxagliptin (Onglyza), was approved…

Diabetes Drugs: Pramlintide


Many people do not think of the brain when considering the causes of or treatments for diabetes. So it may be surprising to learn that the drug we are discussing today works by activating brain cells…

Diabetes Drugs: Sulfonylureas


Sulfonylureas among were the first oral medicines available for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. They were discovered by accident in France by a researcher who was working on drugs for typhoid fever. Animals that were given sulfounylureas displayed unusual behaviors and were found to have hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). It was quickly recognized that these drugs could be used for the treatment of diabetes…

Diabetes Drugs: GLP-1 Agonists


A curious fact that has been known almost since the discovery of insulin is that glucose taken by mouth stimulates insulin secretion to a greater degree than glucose that is injected straight into the bloodstream. Researchers theorized that a hormone might be released by the gastrointestinal tract in response to glucose that was able to stimulate insulin secretion above and beyond that stimulated by glucose alone. This then-undiscovered hormone was called “incretin,” since it seemed to stimulate insulin production…

Diabetes Drugs: Thiazolidinediones


This class of drugs was introduced into practice over a decade ago, but the first thiazolidinedione turned out to be associated with severe side effects. The drug, named troglitazone (brand name Rezulin), was introduced into the United States in 1997 and removed from clinical use 3 years later due to concerns about liver damage…

Diabetes Drugs: Metformin


Metformin (brand names Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Riomet, Fortamet, Glumetza) is a member of a class of medicines known as biguanides. This type of medicine was first introduced into clinical practice in the 1950’s with a drug called phenformin. Unfortunately, phenformin was found to be associated with lactic acidosis, a serious and often fatal condition, and was removed from the U.S. market in 1977…


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