Oral Diabetes Medicines That Can Cause Low Blood Sugar

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Topic Overview

Sulfonylureas can cause low blood sugar. They help the pancreas make and/or release insulin.

  • Chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
  • Glimepiride (Amaryl)
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase, Micronase)
  • Tolbutamide
  • Tolazamide

Meglitinides help the pancreas make insulin. They may cause low blood sugar.

  • Nateglinide (Starlix)
  • Repaglinide (Prandin)

Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors lower your blood sugar. They do this by slowing the digestion of carbohydrates.

  • Acarbose (Precose)
  • Miglitol (Glyset)

You are less likely to get low blood sugar if you take:

  • DPP-4 inhibitors. These include sitagliptin (Januvia) and saxagliptin (Onglyza).
  • Metformin. One brand name is Glucophage.
  • Sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors. These include canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), and empagliflozin (Jardiance).
  • Thiazolidinediones. These include pioglitazone (Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia).

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ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology

Current as ofMay 22, 2015