Side Effects Diabetes Type 2 Medications – Are You Experiencing Any?

Are you concerned about what side effects diabetes type 2 medications may be causing you.

Some people who have type 2 diabetes can achieve their target blood sugar levels with diet and exercise alone, but many also need diabetes medications. The decision about which medications are best depends on many factors, including your blood sugar level and any other health problems you have. Your doctor might even combine drugs from different classes to help you control your blood sugar in several ways.

Diabetes Medications And Possible Side Effects

Biguanide (Metformin):

If you have Type 2 diabetes, metformin is usually the first diabetes medication prescribed if a healthy diet and physical activity alone has not sufficiently helped to control your blood sugar levels. A variety of derivatives of biguanide are used as pharmaceutical drugs

Examples include:

Possible side effects of metformin

  • physical weakness
  • diarrhea
  • gas (flatulence)
  • symptoms of weakness,
  • upper respiratory tract infection
  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • abdominal pain (GI complaints), lactic acidosis (rare)
  • low blood levels of vitamin B-12
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • chest discomfort
  • chills, dizziness
  • bloating/abdominal distention
  • constipation
  • heartburn


Tablets in this family work by stimulating the cells in your pancreas to make more insulin, helping it to work more effectively within your body.

Examples include

Possible side effects of sulphonylureas

  • skin rash,
  • drop in red blood cell count,
  • liver disease, and
  • upset stomach.
  • hypoglycemia
  • weight gain

Alpha glucosidase inhibitor (Acarbose):

Arcabose slows down the intestine’s absorption of starchy foods, in turn, slowing down any rise in blood sugar levels after meals.

Examples of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors include:

Possible side effects of alpha glucosidase inhibitor

  • gas (flatulence)
  • diarrhea
  • bloating
  • abdominal cramps

Prandial glucose regulators (glinides)

Similar to sulphonylureas, this medication stimulates the cells in the pancreas to produce more insulin. They work much quicker than sulphonylureas, but only last for a short time, so are taken half an hour before each meal.

Examples include

Possible side effects of glinides

  • hypoglycemia
  • allergic skin reactions
  • liver problems
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • constipation

Thiazolidinediones (glitazones)

This medication reduces insulin resistance and improves sensitivity, allowing the insulin that your body produces to work more effectively. Additionally, it helps to protect the cells in the pancreas, allowing them to produce insulin for a longer period.

Examples of TZDs:

Possible side effects of glitazones

  • water retention
  • weight gain
  • eyesight problems
  • reduced sense of touch
  • chest pain and infections
  • allergic skin reactions

Less common but more dangerous side effects include:

  • macular oedema
  • heart problems
  • liver failure
  • anaemia
  • bone fractures

Incretin mimetics (GLP1 Receptor Agonists)

This medication increases the level of incretins in the body. Incretin hormones help the body to produce more insulin when needed and reduce the amount of glucose production when it’s not needed.

Examples include

Possible side effects of incretin mimetics include:

DPP-4 Inhibitors (gliptins)

DPP-4 inhibitors work by blocking the action of DPP-4, an enzyme that destroys the hormone, incretin.DPP-4 inhibitors work by blocking the action of DPP-4, an enzyme that destroys the hormone, incretin.

Examples include

Possible side effects of DPP-4

  • sore throat
  • stuffy nose
  • upset stomach
  • headache
  • urinary tract infection

Sodium-glucose Cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors

SGLT2 inhibitors lower blood sugar by causing the kidneys to remove sugar from the body through the urine. The safety and efficacy of SGLT2 inhibitors have not been established in patients with type 1 diabetes

Examples include

Possible side effects of SGL2 inhibitors

  • Genital yeast infections in men and women
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Increased urination
  • Kidney problems
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Constipation
  • Nasal congestion
  • Urinary discomfort
  • Back pain

Serious side effects of SGLT2 inhibitors include:

  • Kidney failure
  • Hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium in the blood)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Serious urinary tract infections
  • Increased bladder cancer risk
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) when combined with insulin or drugs that increase insulin production
  • Dehydration

Read Here about supplements & vitamins that can help with your type 2 diabetes without side effects.


Do not stop taking any diabetes medication unless you are advised to do so by the doctor in charge of your care. If you stop taking this medication without medical advice, you are at a much higher risk of developing complications related to diabetes,

Please leave any comments or questions below, I will try to answer you within 24 hours

Garry (Type 1)

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2 thoughts on “Side Effects Diabetes Type 2 Medications – Are You Experiencing Any?”

  1. Alex says:

    Hi, Gary.
    You did impressive work, listing all side effects of Type 2 diabetes medications. My father always complains on the side effects of his diabetic pills. He changes it about every month, trying to find one that suits him best. He says that he trusts his gut a most. I will give him your article to read – it may help him choose one.


    1. Garry Brown says:

      Than you Alex for your comment, Glad you found this information useful and I hope your Father finds what works best for him.

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