Know Your Anti-Diabetic Drugs
What do they do? Help the body regulate its blood-sugar level. How do they work? They either replace the body’s insulin, or make the cells of the body more sensitive to the insulin the body’s already producing (this group of drugs is called “oral hypo-glycemics”). Insulin tells the cells to take sugar from the blood to keep the blood-sugar level stable. With diabetes, the pancreas is either not producing enough insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or the body’s cells no longer respond properly to the insulin being made (Type 2). How do you take them? It’s very important to take diabetic medications as prescribed. They’re usually taken just before a meal because just after a meal, blood sugar is at its highest and this is when insulin would normally be released by the pancreas. Insulin is taken via an injection (it’s a protein, so if it were in a tablet, the stomach would digest it and it wouldn’t work). Oral hypoglycemics come in tablet form. Diabetics often also check their blood-sugar level by pricking their finger and testing the blood with a monitoring device. Side effects? Taken at the correct dose, insulin has very few side effects. The site of injections can become hard, so people are advised to change regularly where they inject. Oral hypoglycemics can make people feel sick, dizzy or constipated. This usually improves with time. Common types Insulin, metformin, gliclazide.