Table of Medications

medication

Medications used to treat type 2 diabetes include:

  • Metformin
  • Insulin releasing pills
  • Starch blockers
  • Amylin analogs
Use this table to look up the different medications that can be used to treat type 2 diabetes. Use the links below to find medications within the table quickly, or click the name of the drug to link to expanded information about the drug.

Table of oral medications, incretion-based therapy and amylin analog therapy:

MedicineFDA ApprovalFormulations 
(color indicated if available by Brand only)
DosingComments 
(SE = possible side effects)
STIMULATORS OF INSULIN RELEASE (Insulin Secretagogues) – increase insulin secretion from the pancreas1
SULFONYLUREAS (SFUs)
Tolbutamide 

  • Orinase®
  • various generics

1957500 mg tabletsInitial: 1000-2000 mg daily 

Range: 250-3000 mg

(seldom need >2000 mg/day)

Dose: Taken two or three times daily

SE: hypoglycemia, weight gain 

Preferred SFU for elderly

Must be taken 2-3 times daily

Glimepiride 

  • Amaryl®
  • various generics

11/951 mg, 2 mg, 4 mg tabletsInitial: 1-2 mg daily 

Range: 1-8 mg

Dose: Taken once daily

SE: hypoglycemia, weight gain 

Need to take only once daily

Glipizide 

  • Glucotrol®
  • Glucotrol XL®
  • various generics

5/84 

4/94

5 mg, 10 mg tablets 

ER: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg tablets

Initial: 5 mg daily 

Range: 2.5-40 mg2 (20 mg for XL)

Dose: Taken once or twice (if >15 mg) daily

SE: hypoglycemia, weight gain 

Preferred SFU for elderly

ER = extended release/take once a day

Glyburide 

  • Micronase®, DiaBeta®
  • various generics

5/841.25 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg tabletsInitial: 2.5-5 mg daily 

Range: 1.25-20 mg2

Dose: Taken once or twice daily

SE: hypoglycemia, weight gain
Glyburide, micronized 

  • Glynase PresTab®
  • various generics

3/921.5 mg, 3 mg, 4.5 mg, 6 mg 

micronized tablets

Initial: 1.5-3 mg daily 

Range: 0.75-12 mg

Dose: Taken once or twice (if >6 mg) daily

SE: hypoglycemia, weight gain
GLINIDES
Repaglinide 

  • Prandin®

12/970.5 mg (white), 1 mg (yellow), 2 mg 

(red) tablets

Initial: 1-2 mg daily 

(0.5 mg if A1C <8%)

Range: 0.5-16 mg

Max dose per meal is 4 mg

Dose: Taken two, three, or four times daily

SE: hypoglycemia 

Safe for elderly

Duration of action is only 4 hours

Take within 15-30 minutes of meal

Nateglinide 

  • Starlix®

12/0060 mg (pink), 120 mg (yellow) tabletsInitial: 120 mg three times daily 

(if A1C close to goal, use 60 mg)

Range: 180-360 mg

Dose: Taken three times daily

SE: hypoglycemia 

Safe for elderly

Duration of action is only 2 hours

Take within 30 minutes of meal

EUGLYCEMICS: Medicines that bring the blood glucose into the normal range. These medicines should not cause hypoglycemia.3
BIGUANIDES: decreases glucose release from liver
 

Metformin


  • Glucophage®
  • Extended release (ER):
    • Glucophage XR®
    • Fortamet®
    • Glumetza
  • Riomet® (liquid, 500 mg/5ml)

12/94 

10/00

Glucophage: 500 mg, 850 mg, 1000 mg tablets 

Glucophage XR: 500 mg, 750 mg tablets

Fortamet: 500 mg, 1000 mg tablets

Glumetza: 500 mg, 1000 mg tablets

Generic metformin ER: 500 mg, 750 mg tablets

Initial: 500 mg twice daily or 850 mg once daily 

Range: 500-2550 mg

Dose: Taken two or three times daily

ER: Initial: 500 mg once daily

Range: 500-2000 mg

Dosed once daily

SE: Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach), metallic taste (3%), 

lactic acidosis (0.03 cases/1000 people)4,5

Take with meals (ER with evening meal)

Cannot use if have liver or kidney problems, take a drug to treat heart failure, or drink alcohol excessively

ALPHA-GLUCOSIDASE INHIBITORS: STARCH BLOCKERS – delay digestion and absorption of carbohydrates
Acarbose 

  • Precose®
  • various generics

9/9525 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg tabletsInitial: 25 mg three times daily 

Range: 75-300 mg

(max 150 mg if <60 kg)

Dose: Taken three times daily

SE: flatulence 

Take with first bite of meal

Start with low dose and slowly ­ to minimize GI intolerance.

THIAZOLIDINEDIONES (Glitazones or TZDs): decrease insulin resistance in the body (muscle and fat tissues)
Rosiglitazone 

  • Avandia®

5/992 mg (pink), 4 mg (orange), 8 mg 

(red-brown) tablets

Initial: 4 mg daily 

Range: 4-8 mg

Dose: Taken once or twice daily

SE: anemia, swelling (edema) from fluid retention, weight gain, macular edema (in eye), bone loss and fractures in women 

May ­ risk of heart problems such as heart-related chest pain (angina) or heart attack (myocardial infarction)

May cause or worsen heart failure

Cannot use if have liver problems or severe heart failure

Requires liver monitoring6

Pioglitazone 

  • Actos®

7/9915 mg, 30 mg, 45 mg 

(white to off-white) tablets

Initial: 15-30 mg daily 

Range: 15-45 mg

Dose: Taken once daily

SE: anemia, swelling (edema) from fluid retention, weight gain, macular edema (in eye), bone loss and fractures in women 

May cause or worsen heart failure

Cannot use if have liver problems or severe heart failure

Requires liver monitoring6

GLP-1 ANALOGS: increase insulin secretion, reduce glucose release from liver after meals, delay food emptying from stomach and promote satiety
Exenatide  

  • Byetta®

4/055 mcg per dose and 10 mcg per dose 

Injected under the skin (subcutaneous/SQ)

Available as a pen device

Initial: 5 mcg SQ twice daily 

Range: up to 10 mcg SQ twice daily

Dose: Taken twice daily

SE: nausea, headache, hypoglycemia (when used with insulin secretagogues) 

Rare reports of sudden pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas)

May cause mild weight loss

Liraglutide  

  • Victoza®

01/103 mL pen that delivers doses of 0.6 mg, 1.2 mg, or 1.8 mg 

Injected under the skin (subcutaneous/SQ)

Available as a pen device

Initial: 0.6 mg SQ once daily 

Range: up to 1.8 mg SQ once daily

Dose: Taken once daily

SE: nausea, headache, diarrhea, hypoglycemia (when used with insulin secretagogues) 

Rare reports of sudden pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas). Cannot be used if have history of medullary thyroid cancer

DPP-4 INHIBITORS: increase insulin secretion, reduce glucose release from liver after meals
Sitagliptin  

  • Januvia®

11/0625 mg (pink), 50 mg (light beige), 

100 mg (beige) tablets

Initial: 100 mg daily 

Range: 25-100 mg daily

Dose: Taken once daily

SE: runny nose, upper respiratory infection, rare severe allergic reactions (swelling of tongue, throat, face or body; severe rash) 

No weight gain; Lower doses used if kidney problems

Saxagliptin  

  • Onglyza®

7/092.5 mg (pale to light yellow), 5 mg (pink) tabletsInitial: 2.5 or 5 mg daily 

Range: 2.5-5 mg daily

Dose: Taken once daily

SE: upper respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, headache 

No weight gain; Lower doses used if kidney problems

Linagliptin  

  • Tradjenta®

5/115mg (light red) tabletInitial: 5 mg daily 

Dose: Taken once daily

SE: runny nose, sore throat, rare reports of pancreatitis, rare severe allergic reactions, no weight gain;
COMBINATION ORAL PILLS
Glyburide/Metformin 

  • Glucovance®
  • various generics

7/001.25 mg/250 mg (pale yellow), 2.5 mg/500 mg (pale orange), 5 mg/500 mg (yellow) capsule shapedInitial: 1.25 mg/250 mg once or twice daily 

Range: up to – 20/2000 mg

Dose: Taken once or twice daily

Same as above with glyburide and metformin
Glipizide/Metformin 

  • Metaglip®
  • various generics

10/022.5 mg/250 mg (pink), 2.5mg/500 mg (white), 5mg/500 mg (pink) oval tabletsInitial: 2.5 mg/250 mg daily or 2.5mg/500 mg twice daily 

Range: up to 20/2000 mg

Dose: Taken once or twice daily

Same as above with glipizide and metformin
Rosiglitazone/Metformin 

  • Avandamet®
  • various generics

10/022 mg/500 mg (pale pink), 2 mg/1000 mg (yellow), 4 mg/500 mg (orange), 4 mg/1000 mg (pink) oval tabletsInitial: 2 mg/5000 mg once or twice daily 

Range: up to 8 mg/2000 mg

Dose: Taken twice daily

Same as above with metformin and rosiglitazone
Pioglitazone/Metformin 

  • ActoPlus Met®
  • various generics

8/0515 mg/500 mg, 15 mg/850 mg (white to off-white) oblong tabletsInitial: 15 mg/500 mg or 15 mg/850 mg once or twice daily 

Range: up to 45 mg/2550 mg

Dosed once or twice daily

Same as above with metformin and pioglitazone
Pioglitazone/Glimepiride 

  • Duetact®

7/0630 mg/2 mg, 30 mg/4 mg (white to off-white) tabletsInitial: 30 mg/2 mg or 30 mg/4 mg once daily 

Range: max of one tablet daily

Dose: Taken once daily

Same as above with pioglitazone and glimepiride
Rosiglitazone/Glimepiride 

  • Avandryl®
  • various generics

11/054 mg/1 mg (yellow), 4 mg/2 mg (orange), 4 mg/4 mg (pink) rounded triangle tabletsInitial: 4 mg/1 mg or 4 mg/2 mg once daily 

Range: up to 8 mg/4 mg

Dose: Taken once daily

Same as above with rosiglitazone and glimepiride
Sitagliptin/Metformin 

  • Janumet®

03/0750 mg/500 mg (light pink), 50 mg/1000mg 

(red) oblong tablets

Initial: 50 mg/500 mg or 50 mg/1000 mg twice daily 

Range: up to 100 mg/2000 mg

Dose: Taken twice daily

Same as above/below with sitagliptin and metformin
Repaglinide/Metformin 

  • PrandiMet®

06/081 mg/500 mg (yellow), 2 mg/500 mg (pink) tabletsInitial: 1 mg/500 mg twice daily 

Range: 10 mg/2500 mg, Max per dose

4 mg/1000 mg

Dose: Taken twice or three times daily

Same as above with repaglinide and metformin
Pioglitazone/Metformin XR 

  • ActoPlus Met XR®

05/0915 mg/1000 mg, 30 mg/1000 mg (white to off-white) round tabletsInitial: 15 mg/1000 mg or 30 mg/1000 mg once daily 

Range: up to 45 mg/2000 mg

Dose: Taken once daily

Same as above with metformin and pioglizatone
Saxagliptin/Metformin XR 

  • Kombiglyze XR®

11/105 mg/500 mg (light brown to brown), 5 mg/1000 mg (pink), 2.5 mg/1000 mg (pale yellow to light yellow) capsule-shaped tabletsInitial: 5 mg/500 mg or 5 mg/1000 mg once daily 

Range: up to 5 mg / 2000 mg

Dose: Taken once daily

Same as above with metformin and saxagliptin

  1. SFUs, repaglinide and nateglinide can cause hypoglycemia. The risk of hypoglycemia is increased when meals are skipped. Avoid skipping meals.
  2. “Clinical” maximum daily dose for glyburide is 10 mg and glipizide is 20 mg; higher doses are not likely to further lower the blood glucose.
  3. These medicines do not cause hypoglycemia when used alone. However, when used with SFUs, repaglinide, nateglinide, or insulin, hypoglycemia may occur.
  4. Lactic acidosis symptoms: feeling very weak, tired or uncomfortable; unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, unusual or unexpected stomach discomfort, feeling cold, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, or suddenly developing a slow or irregular heartbeat.
  5. Radiologic tests using iodinated contrast media: stop metformin at the time of or prior to the procedure, and withhold for 48 hours after procedure and restart after kidney function has been re-evaluated and found to be normal.
  6. Liver toxicity symptoms: unexplained nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, or yellowing of the skin or whites of eyes.

Table is prepared with information from package inserts of the various medications and opinion of the UCSF Diabetes Teaching Center.

This table is not meant to be all inclusive and contains important educational information, as viewed by the UCSF Diabetes Teaching Center.

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