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Oral Anti-diabetic drugs[OADs]

What are Oral Anti-diabetic Drugs?

Oral Anti-diabetic Drugs[OADs] are those medicines that are given mostly to Type 2 Diabetic patients.

After discussing the importance of Insulin injection in my last post, we now come to the treatment of diabetes mellitus with Oral Anti-diabetic drugs[OADs].

A large number of oral antidiabetic drugs are available. Each drug has its own advantages[ good effect] as well as disadvantages[ side effects]. These medications help those having persistent hyperglycemia.

Precautions to be taken while taking Oral Anti-diabetic drugs-

OADs should be prescribed in people having diabetes with diet advice [esp. those already on low-glycemic indexed foods] and exercise, keeping in mind:-

a] Conservation of insulin-producing β- cells of the pancreas and thereby delay initiation of Insulin injections;

b] Decrease episodes of hypoglycemia[low blood glucose levels]- many oral Anti-Diabetic drugs are known to cause hypoglycemia, particularly the sulphonureas{ refer the table given below};

c] Improve patient compliance;

d] Reduce the cost burden and affordability of the patients- some newer drugs like sitagliptins and SGTL2, even though very effective are very expensive;

e] Improve Insulin resistance and reduce hypoglycemic attacks;

f] HbA1c levels;

g] Lady having Gestational Diabetes

Oral Anti-diabetic drugs that are available worldwide and in India-

A table given below shows the different oral anti-diabetic drugs available with its mode of action and the dose of medicines from each group:-

Table showing oral anti-diabetic drugs to treat diabetes
Table showing Oral Anti-diabetic Drugs[OADs] to treat Diabetes

We also get a combination of two or three oral anti-diabetic drugs[as shown below]

Oral anti-diabetes drug combination of gliclazide with metformin
Oral anti-diabetic drug combination

When will your doctor prescribe an Oral Anti-diabetic drug[OADs]?

Your doctor will prescribe you these OADs depending on

1]your blood sugar levels,

2]HbA1c levels,

3] other co-morbid conditions like

a] hypertension,

b] thyroid disease[esp. hypothyroidism],

c] chronic kidney disease[nephropathy],

d]peripheral vascular disease[eg. diabetic foot disease],

e] eye disease[diabetic retinopathy]

f]congestive cardiac failure[heart failure]

How are these Oral Anti-diabetic Drugs[OADs] Prescribed?

Most of the time, a combination of any 2 0r 3 drugs will be prescribed for proper control of blood sugar. These medications are advised keeping in mind other complications of diabetes such as:-

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis- in this condition, oral Anti-Diabetic drugs is used alongside of injectable insulin;
  • Chronic kidney disease or  Diabetic Nephropathy- many of the OADs are to be used with caution in chronic kidney disease. Again,  insulin is the preferred to treat Diabetes.
  • Eye disease due to diabetes such as  Diabetic Retinopathy- here again, a combination of oral Anti-Diabetic Drugs alongside insulin helps in halting the progress of the disease.

All these OADs can also be given along with Insulin injection.

When and How Should You Take Oral Antidiabetic Drugs?

Again, your doctor may suggest to you as to how these medicines should be taken-before/with/after meals. Kindly follow the instructions strictly to avoid side effects like hypoglycemia.

What else are you advised along with Oral Anti-Diabetic Drugs?

Along with the prescribed oral antidiabetic medication, a proper lifestyle change to reduce weight, like diet control and exercise goes a long way in controlling diabetes.

If you are undergoing treatment for diabetes with any oral anti-diabetic medicines, you can get these online by uploading your prescription on this link- Medibuddy.

Or on Medplus.

For more on Oral Anti-Diabetic Drugs, click this Oral Anti-Diabetic drugs .