A Complete List of Common Diabetes Medications

A Complete List of Common Diabetes Medications

Diabetes is a condition that causes high levels of blood glucose (or sugar) in the body. This occurs when your body cannot make or use insulin like it’s expected to. Insulin is a compound that assists your body use the sugar from the food you eat.

There are two various types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Individuals with both types of diabetes need medications to assist keep their blood glucose levels normal. The types of drugs that can treat you depend upon the type of diabetes you have. This post gives you details about drugs that treat both types of diabetes to assist provide you a concept of the treatment alternatives available to you.

Medications for type 1 diabetes


Insulin is the most common type of medication used in type 1 diabetes treatment. It’s likewise used in type 2 diabetes treatment. It’s offered by injection and is available in different types. The type of insulin you need depends on how severe your insulin depletion is. Alternatives consist of:

Short-acting insulin

  • routine insulin (Humulin and Novolin)

Rapid-acting insulins

  • insulin aspart( NovoLog, FlexPen)
  • insulin glulisine (Apidra)
  • insulin lispro (Humalog)

Intermediate-acting insulin

  • insulin isophane (Humulin N, Novolin N)

Long-acting insulins

  • insulin degludec (Tresiba)
  • insulin detemir (Levemir)
  • insulin glargine (Lantus)
  • insulin glargine (Toujeo)

Combination insulins

  • NovoLog Mix 70/30 (insulin aspart protamine-insulin aspart)
  • Humalog Mix 75/25 (insulin lispro protamine-insulin lispro)
  • Humalog Mix 50/50 (insulin lispro protamine-insulin lispro)
  • Humulin 70/30 (human insulin NPH-human insulin regular)
  • Novolin 70/30 (human insulin NPH-human insulin routine)
  • Ryzodeg (insulin degludec-insulin aspart)

Amylinomimetic drug

Pramlintide (SymlinPen 120, SymlinPen 60) is an amylinomimetic drug. It’s an injectable drug used prior to meals. It works by postponing the time your stomach requires to empty itself. It decreases glucagon secretion after meals. This decreases your blood sugar level. It likewise minimizes cravings through a central mechanism.

Medications for type 2 diabetes

A lot of medications for type 2 diabetes are oral drugs. However, a couple of come as injections. Some individuals with type 2 diabetes might also need to take insulin.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

These medications help your body break down starchy foods and table sugar. This impact reduces your blood glucose levels. For the best results, you should take these drugs before meals. These drugs consist of:

  • acarbose (Precose)
  • miglitol (Glyset)


Biguanides decrease how much sugar your liver makes. They reduce how much sugar your intestinal tracts take in, make your body more sensitive to insulin, and assist your muscles soak up glucose. The most typical biguanide is metformin (Glucophage, Metformin Hydrochloride ER, Glumetza, Riomet, Fortamet).

Metformin can likewise be integrated with other drugs for type 2 diabetes. It’s an ingredient in the following medications:

  • metformin-alogliptin (Kazano)
  • metformin-canagliflozin (Invokamet)
  • metformin-dapagliflozin (Xigduo XR)
  • metformin-empagliflozin (Synjardy)
  • metformin-glipizide
  • metformin-glyburide (Glucovance)
  • metformin-linagliptin (Jentadueto)
  • metformin-pioglitazone (Actoplus)
  • metformin-repaglinide (PrandiMet)
  • metformin-rosiglitazone (Avandamet)
  • metformin-saxagliptin (Kombiglyze XR)
  • metformin-sitagliptin (Janumet)

Dopamine agonist

Bromocriptine (Parlodel) is a dopamine agonist. It’s not known precisely how this drug works to treat type 2 diabetes. It may impact rhythms in your body and prevent insulin resistance.

DPP-4 inhibitors

DPP-4 inhibitors assist the body continue to make insulin. They work by reducing blood sugar level without triggering hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). These drugs can also assist the pancreas make more insulin. These drugs consist of:

  • alogliptin (Nesina)
  • alogliptin-metformin (Kazano)
  • alogliptin-pioglitazone (Oseni)
  • linagliptin (Tradjenta)
  • linagliptin-empagliflozin (Glyxambi)
  • linagliptin-metformin (Jentadueto)
  • saxagliptin (Onglyza)
  • saxagliptin-metformin (Kombiglyze XR)
  • sitagliptin (Januvia)
  • sitagliptin-metformin (Janumet and Janumet XR)
  • sitagliptin and simvastatin (Juvisync)

Also read: What does Metformin Do to Your Body?

Glucagon-like peptides (incretin mimetics)

These drugs resemble the natural hormone called incretin. They increase B-cell growth and how much insulin your body uses. They decrease your hunger and how much glucagon your body uses. They also sluggish stomach emptying. These are all important actions for people with diabetes. These drugs consist of:

  • albiglutide (Tanzeum)
  • dulaglutide (Trulicity)
  • exenatide (Byetta)
  • exenatide extended-release (Bydureon)
  • liraglutide (Victoza)


These medications help your body release insulin. However, sometimes, they might decrease your blood sugar excessive. These drugs aren’t for everyone. They include:

  • nateglinide (Starlix)
  • repaglinide (Prandin)
  • repaglinide-metformin (Prandimet)

Sodium glucose transporter (SGLT) 2 inhibitors

These drugs work by avoiding the kidneys from holding on to glucose. Rather, your body gets rid of the glucose through your urine. These drugs include:

  • dapagliflozin (Farxiga)
  • dapagliflozin-metformin (Xigduo XR)
  • canagliflozin (Invokana)
  • canagliflozin-metformin (Invokamet)
  • empagliflozin (Jardiance)
  • empagliflozin-linagliptin (Glyxambi)
  • empagliflozin-metformin (Synjardy)


These are among the earliest diabetes drugs still used today. They work by promoting the pancreas with the assistance of beta cells. This causes your body to make more insulin. These drugs consist of:

  • glimepiride (Amaryl)
  • glimepiride-pioglitazone (Duetact)
  • glimeperide-rosiglitazone (Avandaryl)
  • gliclazide
  • glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • glipizide-metformin (Metaglip)
  • glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase, Micronase)
  • glyburide-metformin (Glucovance)
  • chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
  • tolazamide (Tolinase)
  • tolbutamide (Orinase, Tol-Tab)


These medications work by reducing glucose in your liver. They also assist your fat cells use insulin better. These drugs come with an increased risk of heart disease. If your doctor gives you among these drugs, they will watch your heart function during treatment. These drugs consist of:

  • rosiglitazone (Avandia)
  • rosiglitazone-glimepiride (Avandaryl)
  • rosiglitizone-metformin (Amaryl M)
  • pioglitazone (Actos)
  • pioglitazone-alogliptin (Oseni)
  • pioglitazone-glimepiride (Duetact)
  • pioglitazone-metformin (Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR)

Other drugs

Individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes typically have to take other medications to treat conditions that prevail with diabetes. These drugs can include:

  • aspirin for heart health
  • drugs for high cholesterol
  • hypertension medications

See also: Can I Ever Stop Taking My Diabetes Medications?

Talk with your doctor

There are lots of medications offered to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They each work in different methods to assist you manage your blood sugar. Ask your doctor which diabetes drug may be the best suitable for you. Your doctor will make recommendations based upon the type of diabetes you have, your health, and other aspects.

One Reply to “A Complete List of Common Diabetes Medications”
  1. Amanda Bennett

    I was on Metformin and after that changed to the SR variation. I have actually suffered painful bloating to the extent that people would ask when my baby was due! I had loss of appetite and struggled to swallow every mouthful. I had numerous tests done and in the end my Dr recommended I stop taking Metformin for a while. Within days my stomach problems were better and my sugar levels also lowered. My Dr put me back on Metformin as he said even a low dosage was beneficial however the misery started all over again. I will never ever take it once again. I still have some stomach issues sometimes and I feel this is a result of long term damage caused by years of metformin. It might be a very drug however the misery simply wasn’t worth it for me

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