University of Illinois Extension

What are oral glucose lowering medications?

Ver esta página en Español

A person with type 2 diabetes will often require one or more medications to keep blood glucose levels under control.  These medications are in tablet form and are taken by mouth on a daily basis.  There are six different classes of these medications, and they each work a little bit differently. 

  • Sulfonylureas: Increase the amount of insulin made by the pancreas
  • Meglitinide: Increase the amount of insulin the pancreas releases
  • Biguanide: Decrease the amount of glucose made by the liver
  • Thiazolidinedione: Increases the sensitivity of the body to insulin
  • Phenylalanine derivative: Increases the amount of insulin the pancreas releases
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitor: Slows down the rate of glucose absorption by the small intestine

Your doctor may also prescribe a combination medication, which contains two of these medications in one pill. 

Back to: Diabetes Medications

This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.