Combinations of Drugs in Diabetes Treatment


Diabetes is a condition when the level of blood glucose (or sugar) in the body is higher than normal level. This is caused by the inability to make or use insulin of the body like it’s supposed to. Insulin is a substance that helps the cells to use the sugar from the food people eat.

Types of diabetes

There are two common types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system of the body destroys the cells that release insulin, which will reduce insulin production from the body. On the other hand, the body isn’t able to use insulin properly in type 2 diabetes. This is called insulin resistance.

Medications for diabetes

People with both types need to be treated with medications to keep their blood sugar levels normal. The medications each patient was taken depend on the type of diabetes he or she has.

Most people start with metformin, an oral drug is used to decrease the liver’s excess glucose production.

Combinations of drugs in diabetes

As the natural insulin production can decline over time, their doctor often adds another type of oral medication or injectable insulin. If Metformin is not controlling blood sugar by itself, doctors might add a sulfonylurea, which stimulates the pancreas to make more insulin. Or they might add a thiazolidinedione, which improves the sensitivity of the cells to insulin.

Now that multidrug therapy is common practice, more than one active ingredient are available in a single pill. For example, metformin has been combined with sulfonylureas (called Metaglip and Glucovance) or sitagliptin (called Janumet). In addition, doctors might consider adding the injectable medications Byetta (exenatide) or Symlin (pramlintide acetate), to a patient who has taken metformin.

A potential adverse creation of using combination medicines is that it is harder for a doctor to determine the amount of the each medicine.

Before taking any medications for diabetes, patients should meet their doctor to decide which drug is the best fit for them. Doctors will make recommendations based on the type of diabetes, the health condition of the patient, and other factors.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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