Diabetes medications

The following lists were prepared as references only, and were complete at the time of compilation. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist for further details. Some drugs are marketed under different Brand Names in different countries.

Medications Used to LOWER Blood Glucose

Biguanides Mechanism of Action: decrease hepatic glucose production (glycogenolysis/gluconeogenesis), decrease carbohydrate absorption in the gut, increase central and peripheral insulin sensitivity
Generic Name Brand Name Dosage (min-max)
Metformin HCl Glucophage 500-2550mg/day
Mechanism of Action: increase central and peripheral insulin sensitivity
Generic Name Brand Name Dosage (min/max)
Pioglitizone Actos 15-45mg/day
Rosiglitizone Avandia 4-8mg/day
Mechanism of Action: stimulate increased insulin production
Generic Name Brand Name Dosage (min/max)
Chlorpropamide Diabinese 100-500mg/day
Gliclazide Diamicron 80-320mg/day
Glimepiride Amaryl 1-8mg/day
Glipizide Glucotrol 2.5-20mg/day
Glyburide Diabeta, Glynase, Micronase 1.25-20mg/day
Tolazamide Tolinase 100-250mg/day
Tolbutamide Orinase 1000-3000mg/day
Alpha Glucosidase Inhibitors
Mechanism of Action: interferes with carbohydrate absorption in the gut
Generic Name Brand Name Dosage (min/max)
acarbose Precose 50-100mg 3x/day
miglitol Glyset 25-100mg 3x/day
Mechanism of Action: stimulate increased insulin production of short duration
Generic Name Brand Name Dosage (min/max)
replaglinide Prandin 0.5-4mg 3x/day
nateglinide Starlix 60-120mg 3x/day
Mechanism of Action: injected to replace or supplement natural insulin
Generic Name Brand Name Onset/Duration
Analogs insulin aspart Novolog, NovoRapid Very fast
insulin lispro Humalog Very fast
insulin glulisine Apidra Very fast
insulin glargine Lantus Very slow
insulin detemir Levemir Very slow
Human (rDNA) insulin Humulin, Iletin, Novolin, Velosulin
Regular, Actrapid Fast
NPH(N), Insultard Intermediate
Lente (L) Intermediate (being discontinued)
UltraLente(U) Slow (being discontinued)
Exubera Inhaled Insulin
Pre-mixes 70/30,50/50,75/25 fast and intermediate
Combo Orals
Mechanism of Action: attempt to provide “convenience” of two drugs in one pill
Generic Name Brand Name Dosage (min/max)
Avandia/Metformin Avandamet 500 – 4/2000-8
Metformin/Glyburide Glucovance/Avandaryl 250-1.25/2000-20
Metformin/glipizide Metaglip 250-2.5/2000-20
Miscellaneous Generic Name Brand Name Dosage (min/max)
Amylin Symlin 15ug-120ug
Extenatide Byetta 5ug-10ug
sitagliptin phosphate Januvia 25-100mg

Medications Known To RAISE Blood Glucose

Generic Name Brand Name Common Uses
Aminophylline bronchospasm
Amprenavir protease inhibitor
Alpha-interferon immunomodulator
Asparaginase Elspar Cancer therapy
Beta-agonists Beta-blockers
Caffeine coffee
Chlorpromazine Thorazine anti-psychotic/emetic
Calcitonin Calcimar osteoporosis
Corticosteroids inflammation
Cyclophosphamide Cytoxan Chemotherapy
Diltiazem Cardizem Calcium Channel Blocker
Diazoxide Hyperstat hypertension
Didanosine Videx HIV
Estrogens many birth control, replacement
Ethacrynic acid Edecrin diuretic (water pill)
Furosemide Lasix diuretic (water pill)
Haloperidol Haldol psychosis
Indinavir Crixivan HIV
Indomethacin Indocin NSAID
Isoniazid Tuberculosis
Levodopa Parkinsonism
Lithium Eskalith Bi-polar Disorder
Morphine MSContin opiate pain relief
Methyldopa blood pressure, alpha-agonist
megestrol acetate Megace Breast Cancer
Nelfinavir Viracept HIV
Nicotine cigarettes, withdrawal
Oral contraceptives many pregnancy prevention
Phenothiazines psychotic disorders
Phenytoin Dilantin seizure disorders
Pentamidine Pentam PCP
Ritonavir Norvir HIV
Saquinavir Fortovase HIV
SSRIs many depression
Sympathomimetics block sympathetic nervous system
Theophylline Theo-Dur asthma
Thiazides HCTZ diuretic (water pills)
Thyroxine T4 thyroid

References: O’Byrne S, Feely J: Effects of drugs on glucose tolerance in non-insulin-dependent diabetes (parts I and II). Drugs 40:203219, 1990 ; Pandit MK, Burke J, Gustafson AB, Minocha A, Peiris AN: Drug-induced disorders of glucose tolerance. Ann Int Med 118:529540, 1993