Evaluating the Most Prescribed Medications for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, which prevents the body from properly using insulin, is the most common type of diabetes. More than 29.1 million Americans live with Type 2 diabetes. The pancreas creates extra insulin to make up for its inability to use it. However over time, the pancreas can no longer keep up and is unable to make enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels.

Type 2 diabetes requires medications to help control blood sugar levels. There are many options for medication, but it is important to work with a physician to find the right medication for your body. We have evaluated four generic Type 2 diabetes drugs and their brand name counterparts to assist you in your decision.


Brand Names: DiaBeta, Micronase, Glynase PresTab

Glyburide is an oral medication that can be taken with other diabetes medications. It controls blood sugar, and can also help prevent various other health issues, such as kidney damage and nerve issues.

Side effects of Glyburide include nausea, heartburn, and potential weight gain. However, many people taking this medication do not see side effects. Before you take Glyburide, talk with your doctor if you have had a history of liver disease, kidney disease, or thyroid disease.  

Prescriptions for generic Glyburide start at $30, and can increase in cost depending on the strength.


Brand Names: Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet

Metformin is an oral medication used to control high blood sugar with the assistance of a diet and exercise program. It assists in restoring the body’s response to the insulin that it naturally produces and decreases the amount of sugar in the liver.

Some side effects of Metformin include nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach. One should consult with a doctor before taking this medication if they have a past of severe breathing problems, kidney disease, or liver disease.

Prescriptions for generic Metformin start near $73, and can increase depending on the strength.


Brand Names: GlipiZIDE XL, Glucotrol

Glipizide is another oral medication that is used to control high blood sugar with the assistance of a diet and exercise program. This medication decreases blood sugar levels by releasing natural insulin.

Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, and headaches are some side effects of Glipizide. If you have had a history of liver, kidney, or thyroid disease, consult your doctor before taking Glipizide.

Prescriptions for generic Glipizide start at about $12, and can increase depending on the strength.


Brand Name: Amaryl

Glimepiride is also an oral medication used for controlling high blood sugar with assistance from a diet and exercise program.

Possible side effects of Glimepiride include nausea and upset stomach. However, you should consult with your doctor if you have had a history of liver, kidney, or thyroid disease before taking Glimepiride.

Prescriptions for generic Glimepiride start at about $25, and can increase depending on the strength.

“These drugs tend to be the starting point for most physicians and they are all available in generic versions, which keep costs down,” said Paramount Rx Pharmacist, Ken Hammond. “Because their mechanisms of action may be different, they are sometimes used in combination with these or other diabetes medications.”

For discounts on these prescriptions and many others, use our pharmacy locator and print our free prescription discount card.

The Importance of Glucose Screenings for Pregnant Women

Glucose tolerance screenings measure how well your cells are able to absorb glucose after ingesting sugar. Physicians use these screenings to diagnose gestational diabetes, which affects pregnant women who have high blood sugar levels as a result of their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes occurs in 9 percent of pregnancies, so glucose screenings are recommended for all women.

Gestational diabetes can cause complications in pregnancy, so it’s important for women to be screened each time they carry a child. Most physicians recommend a glucose tolerance screening during the 24th week of pregnancy.

How to Prepare for a Glucose Screening

Before you go in for your screening, continue a normal diet, and notify your doctor of medications you are taking – some can interfere with screening results. Fast for 8 hours before the exam, and be prepared to provide a urine sample if asked.

The Glucose Screening Process

This screening can be performed two ways. One option involves a two-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in which your doctor will take a blood sample and then ask you to drink a 75-gram glucose solution. After two hours, another blood sample will be taken.

The screening can also be performed via a one-hour screening and a three-hour test, if levels are elevated. After an initial blood sample, you will drink a glucose solution containing 50 grams of sugar. After one hour, you will give another blood sample to measure your blood sugar level.

Once the one-hour screening is completed, the three-hour test begins — essentially a three-hour OGTT. After drinking a 100-gram glucose solution, your physician will take a blood sample once an hour for three hours. The cumulative results will show how well your cells respond to the spike in blood sugar.

Lowering the Risk of Gestational Diabetes

There are many ways to lower your risk of gestational diabetes. Limiting high-sugar and carbohydrate-heavy foods can help, as can increasing your intake of foods high in fiber. Exercising regularly can also lower your risk.

If you are pregnant or wanting to become pregnant, schedule a glucose screening. Early detection is vital to preventing complications in pregnancies.

Do you struggle with gestational diabetes? Print our free pharmacy discount card for discounts on many of your most used prescriptions.

Properly Storing Your Prescriptions

If you read our blog about National Take Back Day, you know that simply throwing away old prescriptions can be dangerous. Additionally, leaving your current prescriptions accessible, even in your home, can also be unsafe and overall, irresponsible. Follow these guidelines to keep your prescriptions less accessible to others in your household. More...