Cardiovascular disease

Type 2 diabetes

(Type II diabetes)

  • Also known as
  • Diabetes mellitus type 2

About Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth.

You have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes if you are older, obese, have a family history of diabetes, or do not exercise. Having prediabetes also increases your risk. Prediabetes means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes.

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes appear slowly. Some people do not notice symptoms at all. The symptoms can include

  • Being very thirsty
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very hungry or tired
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Having sores that heal slowly
  • Having blurry eyesight

A blood test can show if you have diabetes. Many people can manage their diabetes through healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing. Some people also need to take diabetes medicines.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Top Medications for Type 2 diabetes according to our users

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All Medications for Type 2 diabetes

  • Actos
    (pioglitazone)
    Prescription only

    Actos (Pioglitazone) is a last-choice blood sugar-lowering medicine since it's only moderately effective but has a lot of undesirable side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Adlyxin
    (lixisenatide)
    Prescription only

    Adlyxin (lixisenatide) can lower blood sugar in addition to metformin, but it must be injected and usually causes upset stomach.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Amaryl
    (glimepiride)
    Prescription only

    Amaryl (Glimepiride) is an effective blood sugar lowering medicine, but you have to avoid direct sunlight and alcohol.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • bromocriptine
    Prescription only

    Parlodel (bromocriptine) is a good medicine to add to other medicines for Parkinson's disease when they start to not work so well.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Byetta
    (exenatide)
    Prescription only

    Byetta (Exenatide) can lower your blood sugars in addition to metformin. It does not increase your appetite unlike some other anti-diabetics, but must be given by injection and usually causes upset stomach.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Farxiga
    (dapagliflozin)
    Prescription only

    Farxiga (dapagliflozin) can be used together with other diabetes medicines to help lower your blood sugar, but it can be expensive because it's brand name.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Glucotrol
    (glipizide)
    Prescription only

    Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is an effective medicine for lowering blood sugar, but it can cause your blood sugar level to be too low, so you must always carry some form of sugar with you that can be readily used.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release pill
  • Glucovance
    (glyburide / metformin)
    Prescription only

    Glyburide / Metformin is an effective combination medicine for lowering blood sugar, but it is likely to cause diarrhea in the first few weeks.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • glyburide
    Prescription only

    Diabeta (glyburide) is a good oral anti-diabetic medicine, but can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Glyxambi
    (empaglifozin / linagliptin)
    Prescription only

    Glyxambi (empaglifozin / linagliptin) is a combination drug that lowers the number of pills you have to take, but may be more expensive than the individual components.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Humalog
    (insulin lispro)
    Prescription only

    Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that provides meal-time sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Human Insulin
    Prescription only

    This form of insulin is one of the few medications in its class that you can get without a prescription, but it's expensive.

    Was it worth it?
    Men
    59%
    Women
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
    • Inhaler
  • Invokamet-XR (canagliflozin / metformin extended release) is a combination of 2 medicines that lower your blood sugars, but it can be expensive.

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    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Invokamet
    (canagliflozin / metformin)
    Prescription only

    Invokamet (canagliflozin / metformin) is a combination of 2 medicines that can lower your blood sugars, but it still has to be taken twice daily.

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    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Invokana
    (canagliflozin)
    Prescription only

    Invokana (canagliflozin) can be used together with other diabetes medicines to help lower your blood sugar, but it can be expensive because it's brand name.

    Was it worth it?
    Men
    73%
    Women
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Janumet
    (sitagliptin / metformin)
    Prescription only

    Janumet is a combination of two anti-diabetic medicines that work better together, but is available as brand only.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Januvia
    (sitagliptin)
    Prescription only

    Januvia (sitagliptin) is a good add-on treatment if your blood sugars are not controlled and you don't want to use an injectable medicine.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Jardiance
    (empagliflozin)
    Prescription only

    Jardiance (empagliflozin) lowers blood sugar for people with diabetes, but can increase the chance of a yeast infection.

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    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Kazano
    (alogliptin / metformin)
    Prescription only

    Kazano (alogliptin / metformin) takes advantage of 2 medicines combined into one to lower your blood sugar, but you can develop tolerance if you have been taking this medication for a long time or at high doses.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Lantus
    (insulin glargine)
    Prescription only

    Lantus (Insulin Glargine) is a long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Levemir
    (insulin detemir)
    Prescription only

    Levemir is a long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • metformin
    Prescription only

    Glucophage (metformin) is the first choice medicine to control your blood sugar and lower the risk of death from diabetes, although a few people may not tolerate the stomach side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release pill
    • Liquid
  • Novolog
    (insulin aspart)
    Prescription only

    Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides meal-time sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Onglyza
    (saxagliptin)
    Prescription only

    Onglyza (saxagliptin) can cause heart failure unlike other medicines that work just like it.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Oseni
    (pioglitazone / alogliptin)
    Prescription only

    Oseni (pioglitazone / alogliptin) combines 2 medicines into one pill, but neither are first-choice treatment for diabetes.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Toujeo
    (insulin glargine)
    Prescription only

    Toujeo (insulin glargine) is a concentrated long-actin insulin that allows you to inject higher doses at lower volume compared to other long-acting insulins like Lantus and Levemir.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Tresiba
    (insulin degludec)
    Prescription only

    Tresiba (insulin degludec) is a long-acting insulin you use once a day for all-day sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you can recognize the signs & symptoms and always have a source of sugar handy.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Trulicity
    (dulaglutide)
    Prescription only

    Trulicity (dulaglutide) is a once-weekly injectable medicine that's used to control diabetes, but it can be expensive.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Victoza
    (liraglutide)
    Prescription only

    Victoza (liraglutide) is a medicine you inject once a day to control diabetes, but it can be expensive.

    Was it worth it?
    Men
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    Women
    Not enough review data. Review it!
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin / metformin extended release) is a single-pill combination of 2 anti-diabetic medicines, but it may be more expensive than individual components separately.

    Was it worth it?Review it
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Actos
    (pioglitazone)
    Prescription only

    Actos (Pioglitazone) is a last-choice blood sugar-lowering medicine since it's only moderately effective but has a lot of undesirable side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Humalog
    (insulin lispro)
    Prescription only

    Humalog is a fast-acting insulin that provides meal-time sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Levemir
    (insulin detemir)
    Prescription only

    Levemir is a long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection
  • Novolog
    (insulin aspart)
    Prescription only

    Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides meal-time sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Injection

Medication side effects for Type 2 diabetes

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for Abdominal pain.

  • Invokamet XR: 2%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have Abdominal pain

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have Abdominal pain

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Type 2 diabetes

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Get your sugar under control fast before you go on Medicare as the drug programs do not pay very much toward the medicines available to treat you!
What’s your best coping strategy?

No tips yet for this condition, leave a tip!

Besides medications, what else has worked for you?

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