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Medicines for Type 2 Diabetes – Possible Side Effects

Type of Medicine
 Generic NameBrand NamePossible Side Effects
Biguanides
 MetforminGlucophage®
  • Some risk for low blood sugar
  • Less weight gain than other medicines
  • Higher risk for stomach problems (gas, diarrhea)
Sulfonylureas
 GlimepirideAmaryl®
  • May cause weight gain
  • 3 to 5 times more likely to cause low blood sugar
  • May cause stomach problems
 GlipizideGlucotrol®
 GlyburideDiabeta®
Glynase Prestab®
Micronase®
Meglitinides
 RepaglinidePrandin®
  • May cause weight gain
  • Risk for low blood sugar
 NateglinideStarlix®
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs)*
 PioglitazoneActos®
  • May cause weight gain
  • Some risk for low blood sugar
  • Can add to risk of heart failure or make it worse
  • Increases the risk for fracture, especially in women
  • May cause bladder cancer when used longer than 1 year
Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 (DPP-4) Inhibitors
 SitagliptinJanuvia®
  • Not enough is known about the side effects of these medicines
 SaxagliptinOnglyza®
Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor Agonists
 ExenatideByetta®
  • Not enough is known about the side effects of these medicines
 LiraglutideVictoza®
Combinations
 Glyburide/metformin
  • Some combinations with drugs such as sulfonylureas may increase the risk of low blood sugar
  • Pioglitazone combinations may cause more weight gain than other medicines
  • Pioglitazone combinations can add to the risk of hip and non-hip fractures, especially for women
  • Some combinations with metformin increase the risk of stomach problems, but not as much as metformin alone
 Metformin/pioglitazone
 Metformin/sitagliptin
 Metformin/saxagliptin
 Metformin + GLP-1 receptor agonists
 Metformin + basal insulin
 Metformin + premixed insulin

*NOTE: Your doctor has received an alert from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that TZDs (pioglitazone or rosiglitazone) should not be taken by patients with serious or severe heart failure. Rosiglitazone also increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. According to the FDA, rosiglitazone is to be used only if other drugs do not work to lower your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor.

*NOTE: Your doctor has received an alert from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that TZDs (pioglitazone or rosiglitazone) should not be taken by patients with serious or severe heart failure. Rosiglitazone also increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. According to the FDA, rosiglitazone is to be used only if other drugs do not work to lower your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor.

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