Colorado Springs
43° F
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Advertisement

Drugs can help treat diabetes

Published On: Jun 05 2012 03:22:35 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 22 2012 01:00:00 AM CST
white pills, Aspirin, Tylenol

iStock / gblu

Chanel Griffith, Contributing writer

Diabetes inhibits the body's ability to produce insulin, the compound that regulates the amount of sugar that enters your blood after food is digested.

There are 17.9 million diagnosed cases in the U.S., and 1.6 million new cases are reported each year, according to WebMD.com. There is currently no cure for diabetes, but it can be handled with proper treatment. If diabetes goes untreated, it can cause serious health problems including blindness, loss of limbs and even death.

According to MayoClinic.com, Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when the body cannot produce any insulin; Type 2 when the body can produce insulin, but not a sufficient amount to properly regulate blood sugar.

Changing or restricting the diet can often mitigate diabetes, especially in adult-onset Type 2, but new drugs can also aid the treatment.

NovoLog

This is a fast-acting insulin injection used in treating Type 1 diabetes. According to product information on NovoLog.com, the injection imitates the body's production and release of insulin, and can be taken 5 to 10 minutes before eating, which cuts waiting times associated with other injections in half.

Side effects associated with the use of NovoLog are similar to those associated with other regular insulin injections, according to NovoLog.com. These include itching and irritation at the injection site, skin rashes and possible hypoglycemia. Warnings include possible serious allergic reactions such as trouble breathing, rapid heartbeat and sweating.

Lantus

This is a popular, long-lasting insulin injection that lowers your blood sugar level and is used to treat both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

It comes in syringe and pen forms and, according to Lantus.com, lasts for up to 24 hours after an injection.

Possible side effects include itching, redness and changes in skin tissue at the injection site, as well as hypoglycemia.

Lantus.com also warns that serious allergic reactions may result in death.

Januvia

This oral medication that is taken once daily and used to treat Type 2 diabetes. According to Januvia.com, when combined with proper diet and exercise, the pill will significantly lower blood sugar levels in adults.

The drug is not recommended for children or those with Type 1 diabetes.

The most common side effects reported on Januvia.com were upper respiratory infections that result in stuffy nose, sore throat and headaches. Other warnings include severe allergic reactions that manifest in rashes, hives, facial swelling, swelling of the tongue, throat and lips, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Byetta

This is an injection used to treat Type 2 diabetes by helping the body produce the right amount of insulin at the right time when coupled with another insulin producing drug. According to Byetta.com, the premeasured injection pens may help its users lose weight, although it is not advertised as a weight-loss drug. Common side effects reported on Byetta.com included feelings of nausea, jitters, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and possible hypoglycemia when coupled with a regular insulin injection.

Glucophage.

This is a prescription tablet that, when taken orally and combined with a proper diet and exercise, will help control blood sugar levels in those with Type 2 diabetes. Glucophage is not recommended for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes, according to Glucophage.com. The most serious side effect associated with the use of Glucophage is lactic acidosis, which brings about symptoms that include rapid breathing, sweating and severe stomach pain. Other common side effects include nausea, headaches, indigestion, mild stomach pain and diarrhea, according to MayoClinic.com.

Advertisement