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any of various synthetic drugs that lower the blood glucose level and are used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. They may stimulate synthesis of insulin by pancreatic beta cells, inhibit glucose production, facilitate transport of glucose to muscle cells, and sometimes increase the number of receptor sites where insulin can be bound and can initiate the process of breaking down glucose. Most are sulfonylureas, including acetoHEXAMIDE, chlorproPAMIDE, glipiZIDE, TOLAZamide, and TOLBUTamide. Patients should be advised that these drugs are not a cure for diabetes but only a means of controlling it and that it is important to continue to comply with dietary and exercise prescriptions.
hy·po·gly·ce·mic a·gent(hī'pō-glī-sē'mik ā'jĕnt)
Oral medications used in the management of Type 2 diabetes mellitus, but ineffective in Type 1 diabetes.