Diabetes Medication and their Side Effects: What You Need To Know


Diabetes Medication Side Effects

Many people with type 2 diabetes need diabetes drugs to manage their condition. Like all medication, there may be side effects, and this week we researched the Diabetes Forum to find out what the community is saying about type 2 diabetes medication and how it affects them.

For this week, we have not included insulin, only diabetes medication taken or injected by type 2 diabetics.

Type 2 Diabetes Drugs

Diabetes drugs, alongside a healthy diet and exercise routine, help people with type 2 diabetes/gestational diabetes to maintain stable blood glucose levels.

A variety of different diabetes drugs are available, with each performing a different function. Many people with diabetes have to take more than one type of pill, with some taking pills which combine two types of drug in one tablet.

Some people experience a variety of side effects from different diabetes drugs.

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In the some countries, doctors can prescribe many different diabetes drugs Depending on how you react to the drugs you are prescribed, your doctor may change your prescription, change you to injections, or change you to insulin.

If you are prescribed injections it generally means that you need this to reach your blood glucose targets. The diabetes drug that works best for you will depend on your individual circumstances, your body, diabetes care routine, diet and exercise, and any other health conditions that you face.

Diabetes Drug Side Effects

A side effect is an unwanted issue that is caused by a medicine. Some diabetes medication unfortunately includes common side effects such as nausea or an upset stomach. Your doctor will be able to advise you about specific side effects and the best ways possible to avoid them.

No diabetic patients should suffer under the influence of side effects, and you should contact your doctor immediately if side effects are causing you pain. Often in the case of diabetes drugs such as Metformin, side effects will only be temporary.

Potential side effects of common diabetes drugs


  •  Sulfonylureas: low blood sugar, upset stomach, skin rash or itching, weight gain
  • Biguanides/Metformin: sickness with alcohol, kidney complications, upset stomach, tiredness or dizziness, metal taste
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors: gas, bloating and diarrhoea
  • Thiazolidinediones: weight gain, risk of liver disease, anaemia risk, swelling of legs or ankles.
  • Meglitinides: weight gain, low blood sugar

Side effect lists may be incomplete, please check with your doctor for more information about diabetes drug side effects.