Doctors have several options in prescribing medication for Type 2 diabetes, including metformin, according to Mayo Clinic. Metformin increases the sensitivity of body tissues to insulin and reduces glucose production in the liver. While it is usually the first medication a doctor prescribes, some patients find its side effects intolerable.
Metformin causes some patients to experience nausea and diarrhea. Most find these side effects decrease as their bodies adjust to the medication. Metformin does not always lower the blood sugar levels to the range doctors recommend. When this happens, the doctor has the option of prescribing another oral medication or injections, Mayo Clinic indicates.
Sulfonylureas use a different methodology of lowering blood sugars than metformin. These medications encourage the body to secrete additional insulin. These medications are more likely to cause blood sugars to drop below the normal range and cause weight gain, according to Mayo Clinic.
Meglitinides encourage the production of more insulin, like sulfonylureas. They are faster acting and do not remain in the body as long as sulfonylureas, reports Mayo Clinic. This reduces the chance of low blood sugars, but patients still gain weight.
SGLT2 inhibitors are the newest Type 2 diabetes medications as of 2015. They increase the amount of glucose the kidneys filter from the blood. While effective at lowering blood sugar, they increase the chances of urinary infections, Mayo Clinic reports.