What Are the Most Common Medications Used to Treat Diabetes?


Quick Answer

Metformin, sulfonylureas, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, DPP-4 inhibitors and meglitinides are common classes of drugs prescribed to treat Type 2 diabetes, reports Heathline. Doctors usually prescribe metformin first for Type 2 diabetes, states Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Metformin is in a class of drugs called biguanides, explains Healthline. It increases the body's sensitivity to insulin, and it is often used in conjunction with other drugs. Sulfonylureas stimulate the pancreas to increase insulin production. Drugs in this class include Amaryl and Duetact.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors regulate blood glucose by helping the body break down starch and sugar, explains Healthline. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors include Precose and Glyset tablets. DPP-4 inhibitors help the body retain insulin and include Nesina, Oseni and Tradjenta. Meglitinides stimulate the production of insulin and include Starlix and Prandin.

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