Metabolic Health

Know Diabetes Medicine Side Effects In Detail

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Diabetes Medicine Side Effects

Diabetes medications can be an excellent approach to keeping blood sugar levels stable. However, they can occasionally produce negative effects or interfere with other medications you are consuming. The diabetes medicine that works best for you will be determined by your circumstances, health, diabetes care regimen, nutrition and activity, and other health concerns.

Side effects of diabetes medicines are undesirable complications brought on by medication. Unfortunately, certain diabetic medications have some typical side effects.

1. Biguanides

Examples

Metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet)

  • Biguanides are a kind of drug used to treat type 2 diabetes and other illnesses. 
  • They function by lowering the amount of glucose produced during digestion.
  • Metformin is the only Biguanides that is now accessible in most nations for treating diabetes. 
  • The brand names for these medications are Glucophage (metformin) and Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release). 
  • Metformin is also available with various other diabetic drugs, including sulfonylureas. 

Side Effects

  • Nausea  
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach upset 
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weakness

2. Sulfonylureas

Examples

Glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL), Glimepiride (Amaryl), Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab)

  • Sulfonylureas are a class of drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes.
  •  The body does not utilize the hormone insulin correctly in type 2 diabetes, resulting in high blood sugar levels
  • The medications act by boosting insulin secretion from the pancreas. 
  • Sulfonylureas are only one component of a type 2 diabetes treatment strategy that should also include exercise and diet to help regulate blood glucose levels.
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol and Glucotrol XL), glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase, and Glynase PresTab), and glimepiride are examples of second-generation sulfonylureas (Amaryl). These medications are excellent in rapidly lowering blood sugar levels, but they also carry the risk of causing hypoglycemia. 

Side Effects

  • Upset stomach
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Skin reactions
  • Weight gain

3. Meglitinides

Examples

Nateglinide (Starlix), Repaglinide (Prandin)

  • Meglitinides are medicines that are used orally. 
  • They function by stimulating the synthesis of insulin. Prandin (repaglinide) and Starlix are examples of medications in this family (nateglinide). 
  • Meglitinides stimulate beta cells to create more insulin, allowing the body to handle glucose more efficiently and, as a result, reduce blood sugar levels
  • This kind of drug is intended to reduce blood sugar levels after meals. It is especially beneficial for persons with varied schedules and when routine mealtimes aren't always available. 
  • The first medicine in this class, repaglinide, was authorized in 1997, followed by nateglinide in 2000. Meglitinides can be used on their own or in conjunction with other drugs. 

Side Effects

  • Shakiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion.

4. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

Examples

Acarbose (Precose,) Miglitol (Glyset)

  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are medications used to treat type 2 diabetes. 
  • This family of pharmaceuticals includes two medications: acarbose (Precose) and miglitol (Glyset). 
  • They assist in limiting the quantity of glucose in the bloodstream from rising too quickly after you eat. 

Side Effects

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Diarrhoea to flatulence. 
  • These medications inhibit the digestion of starchy meals like bread, potatoes, and pasta and the absorption of certain sugars like table sugar.

5. DPP-4 inhibitors

Examples

Alogliptin (Nesina), Linagliptin (Tradjenta), Saxagliptin (Onglyza), Sitagliptin (Januvia)

  • Gliptins are a family of oral medicines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus in individuals. 
  • FDA-approved DPP-4 inhibitors include sitagliptin, saxagliptin, linagliptin, and alogliptin. 
  • These medications work by stimulating incretin hormones, which are gut hormones that regulate glucose homeostasis after eating. 
  • They can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other drugs. 

Side Effects

  • Multiple upper and lower tract infection
  • Headaches.

6. SGLT2 Inhibitors

Examples

Canagliflozin (Invokana), Dapagliflozin (Farxiga), Empagliflozin (Jardiance), Ertugliflozin (Steglatro)

  • Inhibitors of sodium-glucose transport protein 2 (SGLT2) are a kind of drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. 
  • Gliflozins are another term for them. SGLT2 inhibitors reduce the reabsorption of glucose from plasma that has been filtered past the kidneys, allowing for more glucose elimination in the urine. 
  • This aids in the reduction of blood sugar levels. In people with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, 
  • Invokana (canagliflozin) reduces the risk of severe cardiovascular consequences.
  •  Farxiga (dapagliflozin) lowers the risk of heart failure hospitalization in people with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 
  • Jardiance (empagliflozin) lowers the risk of cardiovascular mortality in persons with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 
  • Steglatro (ertugliflozin) may be used in conjunction with another medicine such as metformin as an SGLT2 inhibitor. 

Side Effects

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Thirst and increased urination.

7. Insulin therapy

  • People with diabetes require insulin to maintain their health
  • Insulin therapy is the best medication for type 2 diabetes. 
  • Insulin therapy, on the other hand, might result in a variety of common side effects caused by diabetes medication. Insulin is a hormone that aids in the regulation of blood sugar (glucose).
  • Insulin treatment is started for all T1DM patients at the time of diagnosis. Diabetes patients are treated with insulin. 
  • The time it takes insulin to start working and how long it lasts depends on the type of insulin you consume as insulin is the best medicine for type 2 diabetes.
  • Exercise, nutrition, sickness, few medicines, and stress can impact insulin and blood sugar levels. 
  • Insulin aspart (Novolog), insulin lispro (Humalog), insulin glulisine (Apidra), and insulin glulisine (Apidra) insulins (bolus insulin) function over a narrower, more predictable period. They are most commonly used at the start of a meal since they function rapidly. They immediately lower blood sugar levels and only act for a short period. Insulin is the best medication for type 2 diabetes.
  • Insulin detemir (Levemir) and insulin glargine (Lantus and Basaglar) reduce blood sugar levels for a more extended period during the day and night. 

Side Effects

  • Fast heart rate
  • Tingling
  • Shakiness
  • Hunger and dizziness.

Best Medicine for Diabetes without Side Effects

Diabetes is a dangerous disease caused by reduced insulin release from the pancreas and impaired insulin sensitivity in muscle cells: excessive urine, severe thirst, elevated blood sugar, and increased hunger symptoms. There is the best medicine for diabetes without side effects on the market to treat this illness, but the following are the most effective in reducing A1C and blood sugar levels. The best medicine for diabetes without side effects are

  • Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar (long- and rapid-acting).
  • Metformin is a medication used to treat diabetes (biguanide class).
  • Glipizide is an anti-diabetes medication (sulfonylurea class).
  • Glimepiride is a kind of glimepiride (sulfonylurea class).

How to Treat Diabetes without Medicine

Instead of using drugs, make some healthy lifestyle modifications to help manage this common ailment.

  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eat more whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Rather than sipping juice, eat entire fruits. Look for hidden sugars in the ingredients listed on product labels.
  • Lose weight: Losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight can help you regulate your blood sugar, lower your cholesterol, and lower your blood pressure.
  • Get adequate quality sleep: Sleeping for fewer than six hours every night might disturb the equilibrium of insulin and blood sugar.
  • Exercise: Exercising for 30 minutes a day can help lower blood sugar levels, improve insulin resistance, and help manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

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Bottomline

We are what we eat. Medicines and drugs do cure diseases, but it leaves back a lot of unwanted side effects that can result in serious issues after a while. Eating healthy, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and only having the medicines that are utmost required for the body is the motto of leading a healthy life. Crunching down on meds and compromising on a healthy lifestyle has become a present generation trend. To bypass this thought and regain proper health with little to no medicinal support is the actual goal to reduce the side effects of drugs on the body. 

FAQs

1. Can Diabetes medicine be stopped?

No. Do not stop diabetes medicine. Stopping diabetes medicines without consulting your doctor can be detrimental to your health. Consult with your doctor before taking any steps.

2. How do you limit the side effects of diabetes drugs?

First of all, gets to know about the medications and how they perform. Talk with your doctor about the prescriptions and how minimal medicines you can take. Do not crunch down on medicines more than required and have a healthy lifestyle to reduce the dependency on medication as much as possible. 

3. What is the alternative to Diabetes drugs?

Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, it is extremely hard to treat diabetes without any medication. However, following a healthy lifestyle - exercising, eating a healthy diet, having a good quality sleep and getting off of any addictions like smoking and drinking - has helped many people with diabetes to keep their blood glucose levels at par without crunching down on medicines. But there are other forms of treatment, such as yoga, massage therapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and Chromotherapy, which can be beneficial. 

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