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Anti-diabetic Medications Overview

Diabetes is a group of diseases that make a person deal with a lifelong condition that is defined by a high level of glucose in the blood. It is also called Diabetes mellitus and can be presented in three ways:

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  • Type 1 – this is the type of diabetes that people, whose body is not able to produce needed amount of insulin, have.
  • Type 2 – this type occurs when a person’s body resists insulin, and such kind of treatment does not work.
  • Gestational diabetes – the disease that pregnant women suffer.

Of course, each type of diabetes needs special treatment and patients need individual approach (Lilley, Collins, & Snyder, 2014).

In this paper, I concentrate on the medications that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes. Medicine is developing, and new drugs were made to enhance health outcomes. Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and glycogen phosphorylase inhibitors are among the newest agents that can be used as the treatment. They hold the promise of “glucose lowering, weight reduction, low hypoglycemia risk, improve insulin sensitivity, pancreatic β cell preservation, and oral formulation availability”. They can be found in canagliflozin and dapagliflozin.

Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors, which are also called SGLT-2, help to transport glucose into cells. SGLT-1 is able to uptake one tenth while SGLT-2 can carry 90 percent of the glucose that was released by kidneys. Moreover, these inhibitors occurred to be of advantage in treating hyperglycemia. Canagliflozin (Invokana) is to be taken orally without regards to meals. A 100-mg dose is enough for a half of the day. Thus, the results depend on the dose. They are not connected with the age, race and sex of the patients and can be generally used. This drug has even more benefits. It is claimed to reduce the blood pressure and to cause the loss of extra weight. It can be used as monotherapy or be an addition. Canagliflozin can be used to get rid of adverse effects of other drugs. If a patient forgets to take a pill, one can easily go back to the common schedule. However, it can cause “urinary tract infections, increased urination, genital yeast infections, postural hypotension, hyperkalemia, dose-dependent increases in LDL-cholesterol, thirst etc.” (Alam, Chandra, & Sharma, 2015, p. 1321). It should not be used by people with high ketone levels and problems with liver or kidneys. Sometimes it is recommended to take more fluids than usual.

Dapagliflozin is a medication that reduces the level of glucose in blood as it helps to filter it out. It was approved as Farxiga in 2014. It was proved to help patients who are dose-depended to reduce their norm. It allows people to lose weight quickly, which minimalizes the risks of complications. According to the research “the combination of dapagliflozin and metformin resulted in significantly lower reductions in A1c compared with either metformin or apagliflozin monotherapy” (Rochester & Akiyode, 2014, p. 310). Still, there are some adverse effects. For example, “genital infection of vulvovaginitis and balanitis and urinary tract infections were reported” (Rochester & Akiyode, 2014, p. 311). It also cannot be used by all people who suffer from type 1 diabetes. For patients with diabetic ketoacidosis or those who have problems with kidneys, dapagliflozin might be dangerous. Moreover, dapagliflozin can interact with some medicines; that is why it is better to consult a doctor before using it.


Alam, S., Chandra, S., & Sharma, J. (2015). Risk and benefits of canagliflozin, a new sodium-glucose co-transporter type 2 inhibitor, in the treatment of type-2 diabetes mellitus. International Journal of Science and Research, 6(14), 1320-1323.

Lilley, L., Collins, S., & Snyder, J. (2014). Pharmacology and the nursing process. New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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Rochester, C., & Akiyode, O. (2014). Novel and emerging diabetes mellitus drug therapies for the type 2 diabetes patient. World Journal Diabetes 5(3), 305-315.

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