oral hypoglycemic agent


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oral hypoglycemic agent

Abbreviation: OHA.
Any drug taken by mouth that lowers or maintains blood glucose (as opposed to insulin, a drug taken parenterally to control blood sugar). In addition to diet and exercise regimens, OHAs are typically used to control blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Commonly used oral agents for diabetes include metformin (a biguanide), sulfonylureas (such as glyburide), alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (acarbose), and thiazolidinediones (pioglitazone). Used appropriately, OHAs lower hemoglobin A1c levels by about 0.5 to 1.5%.
See: table * Combinations of these drugs, either with each other or with insulin, may be used in patients with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus.
Class of DrugActivityAdverse FeaturesApproximate Cost
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, e.g., acarboseDelay absorption of glucose from intestinal tractFlatulence and other abdominal side effectsExpensive
Biguanides, e.g., metforminImprove sensitivity to insulin; decrease glucose production by the liverLess weight gain than with other agents; avoid in patients with renal failureVery expensive
Sulfonylureas, 1st generation, e.g., tolazamideCause beta cells to release insulinResistance to drug may develop over timeInexpensive
Sulfonylureas, 2nd generation, e.g., glipizide, glyburide, othersSame as 1st generation; also increase sensitivity to insulinSame as 1st generationModerately expensive
Thiazolidinediones, e.g., pioglitazoneImprove sensitivity to insulin; improve lipid profileMonthly monitoring of liver functions needed for some drugs in this class due to risk of toxicity. Heart failure and other heart diseases.Very expensive
See also: agent
References in periodicals archive ?
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([double dagger]) Oral hypoglycemic agents included [alpha]-glucosidase inhibitors, biguanides, glinides, glitazones, sulfonylureas, and thiazolidinediones.
Sixty patients (mean age, 55 years) with type 2 diabetes who were being treated with oral hypoglycemic agents were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, 200 [micro]g per day of selenium (as sodium selenite) or placebo for 3 months.
Remission of diabetes was defined as having a hemoglobin A1c level (a measure of blood sugar control over the past three months) below 6.5 percent and no longer needing insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents (blood sugar-lowering medications).
Researchers who conducted the study determined that four medications and medication classes--warfarin (Coumadin), insulin, antiplatelet agents, such as Plavix and aspirin, and oral hypoglycemic agents, such as metformin and Glucotrol, that lower blood glucose levels--were implicated in 67 percent of hospitalizations among American seniors due to adverse drug events.
We had overlooked the history (he had been a diabetic for years on Oral hypoglycemic agents) and closed our eyes to the common reversible causes of unresponsiveness (seizures and stroke-like symptoms).
A study in the November 24, 2011 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine JNJEJM) found that four medications or medication classes--warfarin (Coumadin), insulin, antiplatelet agents such as clopidogrel (Plavix) and aspirin, and oral hypoglycemic agents that lower blood glucose levels--were implicated in 67 percent of hospitalizations among American seniors due to adverse drug events.
Sutton is stabilized and being prepared for discharge on oral hypoglycemic agents. He asks how he can avoid HHS in the future.