Treatments for type 2 diabetes
In France, almost 5% of the population, or 2.7 million people, are undergoing treatment for type 2 diabetes. In Canada, this is 6% of the population. The number of drugs is constantly increasing and prescriptions are becoming more and more complex. The point for not getting lost and becoming an actor in its treatment.
Many classes of drugs exist to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. All of them have different modes of action and different indications.
– Drugs that stimulate the action of insulin including metformin (and glitazones, now banned in France and under close surveillance in Quebec)
– Medicines used to increase the secretion of insulin (glinides, sulphonylureas)
– Drugs that inhibit molecules called alphaglucosidases (acarbose and miglitol)
– Incretinomimetics, newer drugs
– And finally, in some cases, insulin injections
Having trouble finding your bearings? Rest assured, even the doctors get lost a little, there are so many drugs and brands available. The treatment recommendations, published in France by the High Authority for Health, in Quebec by Health Canada, in Europe and in the world by various learned societies, summarize, for doctors, the procedure to follow in the face of type 2 diabetes. It is useful to know these recommendations in broad outline to be able to become an actor in your treatment and follow the evolution of your diabetes by understanding what is happening …
Have you just been diagnosed? The doctor will ask you to follow certain “hygieno-dietetic” measures that can help lower blood sugar, allowing weight loss and better nutrition. In most cases, it will still be necessary to undergo metformin treatment, in the form of tablets or powder.
The escalation of treatment
Diabetes continues to evolve throughout life. Treatments that are effective at first may become insufficient after a few years or even months. It is then necessary to vary or increase the drugs. If metformin is not enough to lower the blood sugar level satisfactorily, a second treatment will be associated with it (to be chosen from the different options). We will then speak of “dual therapy”. Several brands offer drugs that combine two molecules in a single tablet, which can limit the number of pills to swallow.
In case of failure of dual therapy … Make way for triple therapy! This uses metformin and two other drugs. If the triple therapy is not enough, you will have to switch to insulin injections, as in the treatment of type 1 diabetes.