Karen Chapman Novakovski - Associate Professor of Nutrition

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Medications & Diabetes

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Type 2 Diabetes Medications: Medication Names

There are three names for each medication .

  • The class of medication
  • The generic name
  • The brand name

Class of Medication

The class of medication tells you how a medication works. One class of medication can include many types of different medications.

Generic Name

The generic name tells you the name of a specific medication regardless of who makes it. One generic medication can include many types of medicine that are very similar but just have different brand names.

Brand Name

The brand name is the name given to a medication by the company who makes it.

This system of naming medications is used to describe many types of drugs including medications used to treat diabetes.

A common example of this type of naming system is the naming of headache medication:

  • Class of medication: Analgesic or Pain Killer
  • Generic Name: Aspirin
  • Brand Name: Bayer

An example of this type of naming system used to describe diabetes medication includes:

  • Class of medication: Biguanide
  • Generic Name: Metformin ®
  • Brand Name: Glucophage ®

This handout contains general information on diabetes medication. It is not intended to replace medical advice. It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your dosage and any other questions that you may have.

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