What are anti-diabetic drugs?

In layman terms, anti-diabetic drugs are responsible for reducing the amount of sugar in the blood. Most commonly, they are used to treat gestational, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Anti diabetic drugs come in many forms. Herbal remedies and different types of alternative medicines are often used as remedies for treating diabetes.
How do they work?

Typically, anti-diabetic drugs work in the following ways:
• By increasing the insulin level in the body
• By increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin
• By reducing the glucose absorption in the intestines

Types of anti-diabetic drugs
Insulin: It is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It is used by the body to control blood sugar levels. It is administered to people with Type 1 diabetes, since their bodies do not make insulin.

The discovery of insulin therapy was a milestone event in the treatment of diabetes. Today we have plenty of forms of insulin available in the market.
Sulfonylurea: This type of drug lowers the blood glucose level by causing the body to release stored insulin. Typically these are not prescribed to patients with gestational diabetes or Type 1 diabetes.

There are numerous drugs in this category, which could be administered alone or in combination with other drugs.

Metformin: This is a drug in the biguanide class that works towards increasing insulin sensitivity. It also reduces glucose production by the liver. Metformin is the most commonly-used agent for type 2 diabetes in children and teenagers and, unlike other anti-diabetic drugs, tends not to cause weight gain. Metformin is especially well-suited for women with gestational diabetes.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: These work in the small intestine by inhibiting a digestive enzyme known as alpha-glucosidase. They have unpleasant side effects such as flatulence and bloating, but acarbose has been shown to provide significant cardiovascular benefits.

Side-effects of anti-diabetic medication
Some of the side-effects of taking anti-diabetic medication are headache, stomach upset, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting. In case you develop itchy skin, dark urine, fever, sore throat, swelling of the hands or feet, unusual bleeding, then you must inform your doctor.

Anti-diabetic medications are known to cause low blood sugar. The symptoms include chills, cold sweat, shaking, rapid heart-beat, weakness, headache and fainting. If you experience these symptoms, reach out for a quick dose of sugar such as table sugar, orange juice, honey, etc.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Reeve explains the anti diabetic drugs function, its side effect and types of anti diabetic drugs through this article.