Meglitinide

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The meglitinide class of drugs treat diabetes type 2 by blocking the potassium channels in beta cells, which closes the ATP-dependent potassium channels and opens the cells' calcium channels. The resulting calcium influx causes the cells to secrete insulin.

Drugs

The main branded drug in the meglitinide class is Novo Nordisk's repaglinide (Prandin), which gained FDA approval in 1997. Another type of drug in this class is nateglinide (Starlix).

These drugs should be taken 0-30 minutes prior to eating. Follow the instructions given to you by your physician/nurse.

Side-effects

Side effects include weight gain and hypoglycemia. While the potential for hypoglycemia is less than for those on sulfonylureas, it is still a serious potential side effect that can be life-threatening. Patients on this medication should know the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and appropriate action to take.



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