Drugs for Diabetes Treatment

February 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Diabetes Treatment

There is a variety of drugs available for the treatment of diabetes. With all the information overflowing the market it can be difficult to decide what drug does what and how it’s taken. Your doctor is the best source of information and you should consult your doctor on any concerns about your medications. They will be more than happy to explain to you what the drugs do, how they’re taken and why they work, though you’re likely to hit some technical jargon. We’ll do a brief rundown on what types of medicines are currently available for diabetics.

Diabetic medications come in three forms: oral, inhaled and injections. Not all of these forms will be available to all diabetics and your doctor will help you decide which is right for you and your lifestyle. For non-insulin dependent diabetes, medication is usually not needed; the disease can be controlled through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.

Oral diabetes medications usually take the form of pills. Depending on the type of medication these pills will either make your body more sensitive to insulin, reduce the amount of sugar produced by your liver or a combination of both. Some pills combine more than one type of medication to provide you with a double acting medicine while only taking a single pill. There are several different types of medicine available and all have side effects associated with taking an improper amount or taking it without food. These side effects range from debilitating stomach cramps and diarrhea to hypoglycemic episodes.

Inhaled diabetic medications are relatively new on the market. They are inhaled into the lungs, much like asthma medication, and are released across the inner surface of the lungs. Dry, powdered insulin is inhaled into the lungs and acts the same as injected insulin, with approximately the same duration of effect. There have been reports of reduced oxygen transport in some patients, so this treatment won’t be for everyone. This is touted as a major breakthrough in diabetes medication, offering one of the first new methods of insulin delivery since injections started in the 1920′s.

Injected insulin is the most common form of diabetes medication. A patient injects themselves with a prescribed amount of insulin at appropriate times using a hypodermic needle. These needles take several different forms, from the traditional syringe used to draw the insulin from a vial to the newer, more portable syringes which come with the insulin already in them. This type of syringe has dosage markings along the length of the cylinder; the cylinder is clear to aid with correct dosing, and usually contains several doses in one syringe.

To determine the best medication for you, talk to your doctor and dietician. They will create a plan, tailored to your needs. Talk to your doctor about all available types of medication before deciding on one particular type. Some doctors are wary of adopting new medications, while others embrace them enthusiastically. Your doctor will be able to best determine which medication is right for your case; some people shouldn’t take certain types of medication due to side effects.

[tags]diabetes, Drugs[/tags]


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