Taking Sulfonylureas Orally to Treat Diabetes

Oral Treatment of Diabetes

You may not be aware that there are now many alternatives to insulin for the treatment of diabetes. Many people, in fear of a life of injecting insulin, have refused to talk to doctors about getting their diabetes under control, not realizing that other alternatives may be effective for them.

The pills you can take orally to treat diabetes are no longer new news. Yet many people still don’t know that alternatives exist to insulin shots. One popular drug that is effective in the treatment of type 2 diabetes for many people is Sulfonylureas. Taking Sulfonylureas orally to treat diabetes may be a pleasant surprise for you.

The discovery of Sulfonylureas dates back to the treatment of soldiers with sulfur-containing antibiotics. It was soon recognized that the soldiers had lower blood glucose levels while they were taking these antibiotics. This led to testing and development of Sulfonylureas as a treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Limitations of Taking Sulfonylureas Orally to Treat Diabetes

1. Sulfonylureas are not typically effective in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. A person must have a least some pancreatic insulin production capability in order for Sulfonylureas to increase the release of insulin by the pancreas.

2. If blood glucose levels are not closely monitored while taking Sulfonylureas, hypoglycemia can result.

3. Sulfonylureas are not considered safe for use by pregnant women and nursing mothers.

4. Many diabetics receive no benefit at all from taking Sulfonylureas.

5. Nearly all diabetics will eventually become resistant to the beneficial effects of Sulfonylureas over time. Generally after only a few years another form of treatment will be required for your diabetes.

6. Sulfonylureas may cause severe reactions in some people who have difficulty with sulfur-containing drugs.

7. Sulfonylureas react poorly with a wide variety of oral medications, so you will have to consult with your physician or pharmacist about any other medications or supplements you choose to take or which you have prescribed to you.