Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body is unable to effectively process blood sugar, or glucose. Unfortunately, the number of people who have diabetes has reached epidemic levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Millions of people live with diabetes and prediabetes in the United States.
Over 110 million people in the U.S. alone have diabetes or prediabetes. About 95% of all diagnosed cases involve type 2 diabetes, and around 5% of all diagnosed cases are type 1. Sadly, leaving diabetes untreated leads to some severe health complications.
If you have type 2 diabetes, there are many ways you can treat your condition. In some cases, exercising and having a healthy diet is good enough to manage your blood sugar levels, but there may come a time when you will need to take medications to help.
What are some diabetes treatment options?
Some of the most effective and popular medications to treat type 2 diabetes include…
14. Basaglar KwikPen
BASAGLAR, or insulin glargine, is a long-acting insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with type 1 diabetes and adults with type 2 diabetes. It is a prescription once-daily injection that comes in prefilled injectable pens.
Are there any limitations as to who can take it?
Fortunately, no known risks are associated with pregnancy, although everyone should avoid drinking alcohol while using the KwikPen, or serious interactions can result.
TRULICITY, or dulaglutide, is a prescription-only medication. Unlike Basaglar, Trulicity is not insulin. Rather, it designed to help people with type 2 diabetes regain control of their blood sugar levels by helping the body release insulin.
A once-a-week pen, Trulicty is to be used in combination with proper diet and exercise if oral medication isn’t helping a patient achieve their health goals.
12. Soliqua 100/33
SOLIQUA 100/33, or insulin glargine and lixisenatide, is a type 2 diabetes treatment for adult patients who are not reaching their A1C goal with long-acting insulin. It is delivered via injection.
What sets it apart from the competition?
Soliqua 100/33 can do more than just what insulin alone can do. It works in your body in 5 different ways to help deliver blood sugar control and lower your A1C. Importantly, this medication only works in conjunction with proper diet and exercise and is not for those with type 1 diabetes.
JANUVIA, or sitagliptin, is an oral medication for non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetics, and it is usually used in combination with other diabetes medications like metformin or glipizide.
Who can (and cannot) take it?
Those who are planning to become pregnant or already are pregnant can take this drug. You cannot take it if you are allergic to the drug’s ingredients, have kidney disease, pancreatitis, high triglycerides, gallstones, are type 1 diabetic, or have a history of alcoholism.
How does it work?
Januvia regulates the amount of insulin your body produces. This process controls your blood sugar levels after eating. Together with proper diet and exercise, it can help type 2 diabetics live a happier, healthier life.
SYNJARDY is a combination of empagliflozin and metformin hydrochloride, and it’s used to control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. It is an oral medication.
Who can take it?
You should not take it if you are a type 1 diabetic, if you have moderate to severe kidney disease, or if you are allergic to its ingredients. However, you can use it if you have heart disease, as it can lower your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or even heart failure.
How does this drug work?
Empagliflozin helps the kidneys filter out sugar from your bloodstream. Metformin hydrochloride also helps the liver produce less sugar and makes the muscles more sensitive to insulin. Along with proper diet and exercise, this drug can therefore help those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes control their glucose levels.
INVOKANA, or canagliflozin, is an oral medication for type 2 diabetics.
Who can (or cannot) take it?
Invokana shouldn’t be taken if you have type 1 diabetes, severe kidney disease, pregnant/planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or are allergic to the ingredients in this medication. Commonly reported side effects include nausea, UTIs, constipation, and yeast infections.
How does it work?
Invokana works to control the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Specifically, it helps increase the amount of blood sugar in urine, meaning more is passed through the body. While you can take this drug without food, Invokana works best when it is taken before the first meal of the day. Often, people will take it with metformin.
One side effect that Januvia, Synjardy, and Invokana have in common is that they can cause low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar levels can cause unfortunate side effects like blurred vision, headaches, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to more severe issues, such as loss of consciousness, seizure, or coma.
That’s where GLUCAGON comes in.
Glucagon is can raise blood sugar levels back up to a normal range, stabilizing the body and mitigating these side effects. Glucagon is a hormone that can only be used if you are unable to eat because you are suffering from a severe reaction to hypoglycemia.
How do you take it?
Glucagon is a powder that must be mixed with a liquid, then injected into the skin. Your caregiver or loved one should understand how to use this medication in the event of an emergency. Importantly, you should avoid alcohol while using this drug.
7. Bydureon BCise
BYDUREON BCise, or exenatide extended-release, is likely the easiest-to-use injectable device for diabetics on the market. A different form of Bydureon, it now uses an easier, more mistake-proof injection pen. Importantly, you should not mix Bydureon with Bydureon BCise.
So, just what is it?
This drug is a non-insulin. Instead, it is a GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist; it works to lower A1C by reducing your levels of blood sugar. When used once a week with proper diet and exercise, it may be extremely effective.
6. Xultophy 100/3.6
XULTOPHY 100/3.6 (insulin degludec and liraglutide) is an injectable medicine available only by prescription. It’s meant for use by adults with type 2 diabetes.
So, what is it, exactly?
It is made with both the long-acting insulin analog degludec and GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide. Together, this formula helps lower blood sugar that is not adequately controlled with less than 50 units of long-acting insulin. Fortunately, this drug’s blood-sugar-lowering effects can last up to 24 hours.
JARDIANCE, or empagliflozin, is a prescription medicine available in oral tablet form. It is made for type 2 diabetic adults.
Who should not use this drug?
People with type 1 diabetes who also have diabetic ketoacidosis or pregnant and breastfeeding individuals should not take this medication.
How does it work?
It’s used to help lower blood sugar in adults who have type 2 diabetes. It does so by increasing the amount of glucose in urine, lowering overall body blood sugar levels. Additionally, in type 2 diabetic adults who have a cardiovascular disease, it can lower the risk of CV death.
STEGLATO, or ertugliflozin, is a prescription oral medicine for adults who have type 2 diabetes.
Who should avoid this medication?
It’s not recommended for children, people with type 1 diabetes, or people with diabetic ketoacidosis.
How does it work?
This drug can help your kidneys filter glucose from your blood. This filtered glucose is then excreted from the body via urine. Overall, this drug works to lower adults’ blood sugar to a manageable level.
OZEMPIC, or semaglutide, is a once-weekly prefilled injection pen that is meant to reduce A1C levels.
How does it work?
It is a GLP-1 agonist, which means that it helps control glucose levels when tablets alone are not effective enough. Specifically, it helps the body produce more insulin, which in turn helps lower the body’s glucose levels.
FIASP, or an injection of insulin aspart, is a synthetic insulin. It’s prescribed to help control blood sugar in adults with diabetes. Those who take it usually do so before a meal.
What makes Fiasp different?
Unlike many other medications, it is fast-acting thanks to the inclusion of vitamin B3 in this drug’s formula. Specifically, vitamin B3 helps the body absorb insulin faster.
Also unlike many other diabetes medications, this one can work for those who have both type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
1. Take Charge of Your Health
There are several options available when looking to save money on these medications. Trulicity, Xultophy, Jardiance, Ozempic, and Fiasp, for example, all have savings cards available, while Steglatro offers coupons.
Visit their websites to see if you are eligible to take advantage of these savings today.
If you are experiencing diabetic symptoms like excessive thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, weight loss, and blurred vision, then it’s important to go see a doctor and have your blood sugar checked. Fortunately, diabetes is a manageable condition when you have a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take your prescription medication.