Medications

There are different medications used to treat diabetes. Each works in a different way and is chosen to meet your specific needs.

Insulin is the only treatment available for Type 1 diabetes. Click here to visit the Canadian Diabetes Association to learn more about insulin:

If you have Type 2 diabetes your treatment may include insulin, pills and/or other injectable medications.

Your health care provider can assist you to better understand the medications that are best for you. You may need several medications in order to have the best blood sugar control.

What are the medications options for treating Type 2 diabetes?

PILLS

  • Biguanides (Metformin) - Helps insulin in your body work better and stops the liver from making too much glucose (sugar).
  • Sulfonylurea insulin secretagogues (Diamicron/Gliclazide, Glyburide) - Helps the pancreas make more insulin to control the rise in blood glucose levels after a meal.
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 Inhibitors (DPP-4s) - Helps the pancreas release insulin to control the rise in blood glucose levels after a meal, and stops the liver from making too much glucose.
  • Alpha Glucosidase Inhibitors (Acarbose) - Slows down the digestion of carbohydrates in the gut so that sugar is absorbed into the blood more slowly
  • Meglitinides (Gluconorm) - Helps the pancreas make more insulin, to control the rise in blood glucose levels after a meal. Needs to be taken with each meal.
  • Sodium Glucose Co-transporter-2 Inhibitors (SGLT2 Inhibitors) - Reduces glucose (sugar) levels in your body by increasing the amount of sugar you pass in your urine.

INJECTABLES

  • Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1) - Helps the pancreas release insulin when blood glucose is high, stops the liver from making too much glucose and slows down how quickly carbohydrate is digested and absorbed into the blood.

Click HERE to visit the Canadian Diabetes Association, for more information about medication options for Type 2 diabetes.

*This information was updated in May 2016. It may not represent all treatment options for High Blood Sugar in Type 2 diabetes. Please contact your local Diabetes Educator or Family Doctor or Nurse Practitioner to discuss what options are available for you.