It’s common knowledge that one of the main treatment options for diabetes is insulin – in short, medium and ,long term formulations. However, a number of treatment options are available for those who are looking for additional ways to manage their blood glucose levels. The following treatment options can also be used by patients who do not need the aid of insulin and, are able to control their blood sugar levels with other antidiabetics. Some of these drugs include Januvia, Victoza and Actos. Below is some insight on how the drugs work.
Januvia (sitagliptin) is available in tablet form and can be taken once daily. Januvia was the first medicine in the class of diabetes drugs known as “DPP-4 inhibitors”, which simply means it acts to decrease the activity of a group of enzymes which block the natural production of insulin. The effect is amplified hormonal signals instructing the pancreas and liver to more accurately control blood sugar levels. Januvia simultaneously decreases the liver’s release of sugar stored in the body and increases the pancreas’s secretion of insulin.
Victoza (liraglutide), mimics one of the body’s naturally produced hormones (‘GLP-1’). Like the natural hormone, liraglutide helps to control blood sugar levels in three ways. During eating, liraglutide slows the rate at which food leaves the stomach, and therefore the rate at which glucose enters the blood stream. Liraglutide also increases the pancreas’s production of insulin, and decreases the liver’s release of glucose via lower glucagon production.
Actos (pioglitazone) is available in tablet form and can be taken once daily. Unlike Victoza and Januvia, Actos does not stimulate production of insulin within the body. It does however, act as a sort of “insulin enhancer” by increasing the liver’s sensitivity to (natural or medicinal) insulin. This has the effect of lowering blood sugar levels, as the liver responds by releasing lower amounts of glucose.