ORAL HYPOGLYCEMIC AGENTS (OHA)

 

 

These are oral medications used to treat Diabetes. They are broadly classified as follows:

 

1.Sulphonylureas : these are powerful anti-diabetic agents which act on the pancreas and stilmulate it release insulin. These are genrerally given before food and may cause hypoglycemia in excessive doses. Remember … intake of these medicines should always be followed by food.

 

2. Metformin: this medicine is the first line of treatment for diabetic patients. This improves the action of insulin by reducing resistance in the muscles and fat cells. It also helps in weight loss. However, some patients may not be able to tolerate it, as it causes gastritis (acidity).

 

3.Pioglitazone: This is also a sensitiser and improves the function of insulin in the body. It may, however, cause weight gain and swelling of feet.  Some studies have also linked the molecule to cancer of prostate.

 

4.Gliptins: these group of drugs act in increasing the production of insulin and prolonging the degradation of insulin in the body. They may also cause gastritis (acidity). These must be used with caution in patients with history of alcoholism or pancreatitis.

 

5.Alfa-glucosidase inhibitors: these drugs help to reduce the absorbtion of carbohydrates on eating. They prevent fast breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple form in the intestines. These may cause diarrhoea and bloating sensation.