Diabetes remedies: know the types and what they are for

The diabetes is a disease that causes excess of sugar (glucose) in the blood symptom known as hyperglycemia . In the case of type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, the malfunction of the pancreas means that there is no production of insulin. In type 2 diabetes, which represents the vast majority of cases, there is insufficient production and resistance to the hormone.

In some cases, it is possible that the doctor requests the use of medications to control the disease. However, medication does not dispense with the need for diet and regular exercise.

The remedies will be indicated according to the needs and profile of each patient. In Brazil, the following antidiabetics are available:


Insulin secretagogues

They serve to increase the secretion of insulin by the beta cells of the pancreas.

  • DPP-4 inhibitors (Vidagliptin, Sitagliptin,  Saxagliptin  and  Linagliptin ):  Increase the action of incretins (GLP-1), hormones that stimulate insulin secretion. Administered orally, they do not cause weight gain and are usually associated with other medications.
  • Sulphonylureas ( Glipizida ,  Glimepirida ,  Glicazida ,  Glibenclamida ):  They assist in the production of insulin and help the body to use it. Possible side effects are hypoglycemia, itching, stomach pain and weight gain.
  • Metiglinides ( Repaglinide  and  Nateglinide ):  Stimulate the secretion of insulin by the pancreas after meals. They have a rapid onset of action and short duration of effect on the body. The use of these drugs can cause weight gain and hypoglycemia.

Insulin sensitizers

They act on glucose metabolism, decreasing the resistance of cells to insulin.

  • Biguanides ( Metformin ):  Improve tissue sensitivity to insulin, making the body use it more effectively. These drugs alone do not stimulate insulin secretion, so they do not cause hypoglycemia. Effects such as nausea and diarrhea are common at the beginning of use.
  • Thiazolidinediones ( Pioglitazone ):  They act similarly to Metformin, facilitating the transport of glucose into cells. Its possible effects include weight gain and an increased risk of heart failure. Its use can also reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.

Modulators of nutrient absorption in the gastrointestinal tract

They help to decrease glucose levels, delaying the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine.

  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors ( Acarbose ):  They promote the blocking of enzymes that digest starches. Especially after meals, these drugs slow down the absorption of glucose from food. Side effects include diarrhea, gas and bloating.


For the treatment of type 2 diabetes, there are also injectable medications that decrease the speed with which the food leaves the stomach and promote the feeling of satiety. Some also help the pancreas to produce insulin, such as GLP-1 analogues.

NEVER  self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.