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Oral Diabetes Medications (cont.)

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What are the side effects of the non-insulin diabetes medications?

Many people with type 2 diabetes will take a combination of medications to help control their diabetes. With combination therapy, there is increased risk for low blood sugar.

The sulfonylureas may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), skin rash or itching, sensitivity to sunlight, upset stomach, and weight gain.

The meglitinides may cause hypoglycemia and weight gain.

People taking biguanides may develop lactic acidosis, a rare but severe side effect. Excessive alcohol intake while on metformin can contribute to development of lactic acidosis. Other side effects include metallic taste in the mouth and diarrhea.

Thiazolidenediones can increase risk of heart failure and should not be used in patients with symptoms of heart failure. Liver enzymes should be checked regularly with use. Other side effects include weight gain, fatigue, swelling of the legs or ankles, increased risk for fractures in female patients. Avandia may have a potential increased risk for heart attack.

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors may cause gastrointestinal problems (nausea, gas, bloating), although they are usually fleeting.

The DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin (Januvia) may cause serious allergic reactions, sore throat, upper respiratory infection, and headache.

Pramlintide (with insulin) may cause gastrointestinal problems (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia), slight weight loss, headache, fatigue, dizziness, coughing, sore throat, and skin reactions at the injection site.

Side effects of exenatide may include slight weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.



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