Treat Diabetes With Modern Medications

What is the treatment for diabetes?

Treatment for diabetes is determined by the type of diabetes you have, how well your blood glucose level is controlled, and any other medical issues you may have.

Diabetic type 1 (T1D):

You must take insulin every day if you have this type. Insulin is no longer produced by your pancreas.

Diabetes type 2 (T2D):

If you have this type, you may need medications (both for diabetes and for diseases that are risk factors for diabetes), insulin, and lifestyle modifications such as decreasing weight, eating healthier, and exercising more.


What is the treatment for diabetes?

Treatment for diabetes is determined by the type of diabetes you have, how well your blood glucose level is controlled, and any other medical issues you may have.


If you have prediabetes, your goal is to avoid developing diabetes. Treatments are centered on reversible risk factors, such as decreasing weight with a healthy diet (such as the Mediterranean diet) and regular exercise (at least five days a week for 30 minutes). Many diabetes prevention measures are also advised for diabetic treatment.

Diabetes during pregnancy:

If you have this type of diabetes and your blood sugar level isn’t too high, your first line of defense may be to change your diet and exercise regularly.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine or insulin if the target goal is not met or if your glucose level is too high.

Oral medicines and insulin are used to treat diabetes in one of the following ways:

  • Your pancreas is stimulated to produce and release more insulin.
  • Reduces the rate at which glucose is released from your liver (extra glucose is stored in your liver).
  • Blocks the digestion of carbohydrates in your stomach or intestines, allowing your tissues to respond to insulin more quickly.
    Increased urination aids in the removal of glucose from the body.

    What oral diabetes medicines have been approved?

    The Food and Drug Administration has approved over 40 medicines for the treatment of diabetes. The scope of this page does not allow for a comprehensive review of all of these medications. Instead, we’ll go over the different drug classes and how they work, as well as the names of a few medications from each class.

    If the drug is right for you, your healthcare team will determine. If that’s the case, they’ll figure out which drug(s) will best treat your diabetes.


The following drug classes are used to treat diabetes:

  • Sulfonylureas: These medications cause the pancreas to release more insulin, lowering blood glucose levels. Glimepiride (Amaryl), glipizide (Glucotrol), and glyburide are examples.
  • Glinides (also known as meglitinides) are medicines that cause the pancreas to release more insulin, lowering blood glucose levels. Repaglinide (Prandin) and nateglinide are two examples (Starlix)
  • Biguanides are medications that reduce the amount of glucose produced by the liver. It also enhances insulin sensitivity and delays the conversion of carbs to sugar in the body. One example is metformin (Glucophage).
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: These medications reduce blood sugar by slowing carbohydrate breakdown and limiting glucose absorption in the small intestine. Acarbose is a good example (Precose).
  • Thiazolidinediones: These medications help insulin perform better in the body by enabling more glucose into muscles, fat, and the liver. Pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone are two examples (Avandia).
  • GLP-1 analogs (also known as incretin mimetics or glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists) enhance insulin release, limit glucose release from the liver after meals, and prolong stomach emptying. Exenatide (Byetta), liraglutide (Victoza), albiglutide (Tanzeum), semaglutide (Rybelsus), and dulaglutide are a few examples (Trulicity).
  • DPP-4 inhibitors (also known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors) help your pancreas produce more insulin after you eat. They also reduce the quantity of glucose that the liver produces. Alogliptin (Nesina), sitagliptin (Januvia), saxagliptin (Onglyza), and linagliptin (Linagliptin) are other examples (Tradjenta).
  • SGLT2 inhibitors (also known as sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors) function by causing your kidneys to excrete glucose through your urine. Canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Empagliflozin) are among examples (Jardiance).
  • Bile acid sequestrants are medications that help to decrease cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Colestipol (Colestid), cholestyramine (Questran), and colesevelam are other examples (Welchol).
  • Dopamine agonist: This medicine inhibits the liver’s release of glucose. Bromocriptine is one example (Cyclocet).

To get the best blood glucose control, many oral diabetic medicines can be taken in combination or with insulin. Some of the medications listed above are available as a single pill that contains two pills.

Others, such as the GLP-1 agonist semiglutide (Ozempic) and lixisenatide, are accessible as injectable medicines (Adlyxin).


Always take your medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Talk to them about your specific worries and queries.

Treat Diabetes With Modern Medications

What insulin medicines are FDA-approved for diabetic treatment?

Insulin comes in a variety of forms for diabetics. If you require insulin, your healthcare provider will discuss the various varieties and whether or not they should be used in conjunction with oral drugs. A quick rundown of insulin kinds follows.

Insulins with a short half-life:

These insulins are taken 15 minutes before meals, peak at one hour (when blood glucose levels are lowest), then work for another two to four hours. Insulin glulisine (Apidra), insulin lispro (Humalog), and insulin aspart are among examples (NovoLog).

Insulins with a short half-life:

These insulins reach your bloodstream in around 30 minutes, peak in two to three hours, and last for three to six hours.

Regular insulin is an example (Humulin R).

Insulins with a medium-to-long-acting effect:

These insulins take two to four hours to reach your bloodstream, peak in four to twelve hours, and last up to 18 hours. In NPH, this is an example.

Insulins with a long half-life:

These insulins work to maintain your blood sugar level consistent throughout the day. These insulins usually persist for roughly 18 hours. Insulin glargine (Basaglar, Lantus, Toujeo), insulin detemir (Levemir), and insulin degludec are among examples (Tresiba).

Insulins that are a mix of multiple insulins are available. Insulins that are coupled with a GLP-1 receptor agonist medicine (e.g. Xultophy, Soliqua) are also available.


What is the best way to take insulin? Isn’t it amazing how many various ways there are to take insulin?

Insulin is available in a variety of forms. Based on your preferences, lifestyle, insulin needs, and insurance plan, you and your healthcare physician will choose which delivery method is best for you.

Here’s a quick rundown of the many options.

  • Needle and syringe: You’ll insert a needle into an insulin vial, pull back the syringe, and fill the needle with the correct quantity of insulin with this approach.The insulin will be injected into your stomach, thigh, buttocks, or upper arm, rotating the injection sites. To maintain your goal blood glucose level, you may need to give yourself one or more shots per day.
  • Insulin pen: The insulin pen resembles a pen with a cap. They are either prefilled with insulin or come with insulin cartridges that must be inserted and replaced after each use.
  • Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices that you wear on your belt, in your pocket, or under your clothes. They are about the size of a small cell phone.
    They use a little flexible tube called a cannula to provide rapid-acting insulin 24 hours a day. A needle is used to introduce the cannula beneath the skin. The needle is then removed from under the skin, leaving only the flexible tube. Every two to three days, you should replace the cannula. Another form of insulin pump is one that is linked to your skin directly and does not require tubes.
  • An artificial pancreas (also known as a closed-loop insulin administration system) is a device that connects an insulin pump to a continuous glucose monitor. Every five minutes, the monitor checks your blood glucose levels, and the pump then administers the appropriate dose of insulin.
    Insulin inhaler: An inhaler device is inserted into your mouth and allows you to breathe in the powdered inhaler. Insulin is breathed into the lungs before being absorbed into the bloodstream. Adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are the only ones who can use inhalers.
    Insulin injection port: A small tube is inserted into the tissue beneath your skin to deliver insulin. An adhesive patch holds the port in place.
  • This port is used to administer insulin with a needle and syringe or an insulin pen. Every few days, the port is changed. Instead of rotating injection sites, the port delivers a single injection site.
  • A jet injector is a needleless insulin delivery system that employs high pressure to spray a thin mist of insulin through your skin.

Are there any other diabetes treatments?

Yes. For a small percentage of Type 1 diabetes patients, there are two types of transplants that may be an option. It is possible to have a pancreatic transplant.

Getting an organ transplant, on the other hand, necessitates taking immune-suppressing medicines for the remainder of your life and dealing with their negative effects. If the transplant goes well, you’ll probably be able to quit using insulin.

A pancreatic islet transplant is another form of transplant. Clusters of islet cells (the cells that create insulin) from an organ donor are transplanted into your pancreas to replace those that have been killed in this procedure.

Immunotherapy is another Type 1 diabetes treatment that is being studied. Because Type 1 diabetes is an immune system illness, immunotherapy holds promise as a strategy to utilise medication to switch off the immune system components that cause the disease.

Bariatric surgery:

It is a procedure that is used to help people lose weight. Another therapeutic option for diabetes that is an indirect treatment is bariatric surgery. If you have Type 2 diabetes, are obese (BMI above 35), and are deemed a good candidate for bariatric surgery, it may be a possibility for you. People who have dropped a large amount of weight have significantly better blood glucose levels.

Bottom line:

Other medications are, of course, provided to treat any existing health concerns that contribute to an increased risk of diabetes. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other heart-related disorders are among these conditions.