Most patients with diabetes must take diabetic med treatment in order to control their blood sugar. Type-1 diabetics, for example, do not produce insulin naturally so they must medically inject it. Some type-2 diabetic patients can control their blood sugar levels by carefully following a diet and exercise regimen and by losing excess weight. However, for many people, this is not enough to control their blood sugar. So, they begin diabetic med treatment.

In addition, many patients with diabetes have complications which have developed either as a result of the disease, because of obesity, or as a result of a sedentary lifestyle. For example, many people with diabetes must manage their blood pressure and cholesterol levels with medications. These are also part of their diabetic med treatment.


Diabetic Med Types



All type-1 diabetics and some type-2 diabetics take insulin for treatment of their diabetes. Injected insulin works similarly to the insulin that your body makes naturally. The types of insulin are divided by the length of time it takes them to take effect and the length of time it lasts in the body. For example, intermediate acting insulin begins working within 1 to 1-1/2 hours and lasts approximately 24 hours. This system was developed in order to satisfy the needs of individual patients. According to, classifications of insulin include:

Rapid Acting Insulin – these begin to work about 5 minutes after being injected, they peak after about an hour, and they continue to work for 2 to 4 hours.

Regular or Short-acting insulin – This type usually reaches the bloodstream within 30 minutes of the injection, it will peak between 2 to 3 hours, and usually stays effective for 3 to 6 hours.

Intermediate-acting insulin – this type usually reaches the bloodstream within 2 to 4 hours, it peaks 4 to 12 hours after injections, and stays effective for 12 to 18 hours.

Long-acting Insulin – long-acting insulin reaches the bloodstream between 6-10 hours after the injection and usually is effective for 20 to 24 hours. These tend to keep their levels fairly even and so there is no peak time.


Oral Antidiabetic Medications

Treatment of type-2 diabetics usually begins with diet and exercise. If these measures alone do not sufficiently keep blood glucose levels in range, diabetic med treatment begins. One or a combination of oral medications will be prescribed by your doctor. These oral medications work in several different ways, according to The different types of diabetes type-2 meds are:

Sulfonylureas – These work by stimulating the pancreas to release more insulin. They are only effective when there is still pancreatic beta-cell activity present. Non-obese type-2 diabetics usually begin with this type of diabetes meds.

Biguanides – Metformin is an example of biguanides. This type of diabetes medication inhibits the amount of glucose produced by the liver, increases the insulin-receptor’s binding ability, and stimulates the tissue uptake of glucose. Obese patients with type-2 diabetes normally start with biguanides.

Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors – These work by slowing the digestion of carbohydrates and delaying glucose absorption.

Thiazolidinediones – This type of diabetic meds make the body’s cell more sensitive to insulin. The result of this is that less insulin is needed to move glucose into the cells, therefor reducing glucose levels.

Meglitinides – These diabetes meds work by stimulating the pancreas to release insulin after a meal.

Drug Combinations – There are pills available which are combinations of the various drugs listed above. This makes treatment easier for the patient and often less expensive.