Common Sulfonylurea Drugs: All You Need To Know
Some common Sulfonylurea drugs are chlorpropamide sold under brand name of Diabinese, glimepiride sold under brand name Amaryl, glipizide sold under brand name Glucotrol, glyburide sold under brand name DiaBeta etc. These medicines are also available as a combination of two or more drugs.
Drugs are usually classified by either the type of chemical that the active ingredient contains or by the way it treats a particular medical condition. By this method of classification each drug can be classified into more than one type. Sulfonylurea drugs are drugs that work by getting more insulin released from the pancreas by stimulating them. However, these drugs are effective only when some pancreatic beta cells are still active and have not completely died down. Sulfonylurea drugs work by bringing down the Potassium permeability of the cells thereby causing depolarization of the cells allowing calcium entry and thus secretion of insulin from the stimulated pancreas.
The need to increase the secretion of insulin from the pancreas arises in patients of Type II diabetes and this has been the target of all types of treatments of Type II diabetes. As already brought out, Sulfonylurea drugs are prescribed to people who report a high blood sugar level even after having healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and healthy eating habits. A patient on Sulfonylurea drugs is either producing inadequate insulin or has become resistant to the insulin produced.
How well does common sulfonylurea drugs works
Since diabetes is a disease that gets worse with time, there is definitely a need for medicines to change with time. Sulfonylurea drugs work best for people who lead an active lifestyle and follow healthy eating habits. Sulfonylurea drugs have reported a reduction of hemoglobin A1c by 1% to 2%.
What to think about:
It must be borne in mind that Sulfonylurea drugs get to work even if you are empty stomach and hence may cause a hypoglycemic condition if had on an empty stomach. Those in a habit of consuming alcohol risk getting into such a situation more than others.
Ask your doctor about the intake of Sulfonylurea drugs if you have a kidney or a liver problem. He may advise against them. Some common Sulfonylurea drugs may also cause skin rash.
Side effects of Sulfonylurea drugs
Usually these drugs do not have any serious side effects and even if they do, the benefits of these medicines far outweigh the side effects. Also, the side effects automatically subside when you keep taking the medicine for some time. If side effects do persist, instead of quitting the medicine, ask your doctor for advice.
Some common side effects that may appear in few cases are seizures, signs of low blood sugar, sweating, feeling nervous, dizziness, trouble breathing, excess hunger, hives, weight gain and swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.
Sulfonylurea drugs are an effective treatment for type II diabetes. If your body responds to one such drug, you reduce risks of long term complications that can be fatal at times. However, if you are on Sulfonylurea drugs, make sure that you follow a regular schedule of the drugs without missing a dose as that can lead to glucose imbalance in your body. Common Sulfonylurea drugs like Glimepiride have proved to be a boon for patients of Type II diabetes as they are very affordable and effective too.