Diabetic medications are needed to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range. Type-2 diabetics are “insulin resistant”, which means their cells do not respond even though insulin is present. When this happens the cells cannot take in the blood sugar (glucose) needed to make energy, and so the sugar remains in that person’s bloodstream. Some people are able to maintain the blood sugar levels through diet and exercise, but most need diabetic medications to do so.

There are five classes of oral diabetes medications, as of yet. Each of them helps to lower blood glucose levels, although they work in different ways. They may be used in combination with each other and/or along with insulin to combat the effects of the disease. Typed of diabetic medications include:

Sulfonylureas – this class of diabetic medications works by stimulating the pancreas into making more insulin.

Biguanides – this class of diabetic medications works by keeping the liver from producing excess glucose.

Thiazolidinediones – this class of diabetic medications works by increasing the cells sensitivity to insulin.

Meglitinides – this class of diabetic medications works by stimulating the pancreas into making more insulin as well.


New Class of Diabetic Medications


There is a new type of medication for type 2 diabetics, according to Medline Plus. It is called dapagliflozin. When studied, the drug was found to lower blood sugar levels when it is used with insulin and other diabetes drugs. It is considered a new class of diabetes and works by blocking the ability of the kidneys to hold onto the sugar in the bloodstream so that the excess sugar can be released in the urine as waste. The drug has also shown itself to be helpful in reducing blood pressure, body weight, and the amount of insulin a diabetic must take.

There are some possible disadvantages of this type of drug. One is that researchers feel there may be a higher risk of urine infections and genital fungal infections because of the higher amounts of sugar in the urine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved the drug because there is not enough information gathered yet on possible long-term side effects. The FDA also has concerns about the possibility of bladder and breast cancer for people that use this drug.

Regulators have become more cautious about diabetic medications because of the controversy involving Avandia’s link to heart risks. Considering the effectiveness the drug has shown, there is still much hope that the drug will be available in the future. In addition, discussions are going further with health authorities in countries, such as Europe, on the possibilities of marketing the drug elsewhere.