Posted: February 9th, 2023

Diabetes and drug treatments

Diabetes and drug treatments

To Prepare:
Review the Resources for this module and reflect on differences between types of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, gestational, and juvenile diabetes.
Select one type of diabetes to focus on for this Discussion.
Consider one type of drug used to treat the type of diabetes you selected, including proper preparation and administration of this drug. Then, reflect on dietary considerations related to treatment.
Think about the short-term and long-term impact of the diabetes you selected on patients, including effects of drug treatments.
Post a brief explanation of the differences between the types of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, gestational, and juvenile diabetes. Describe one type of drug used to treat the type of diabetes you selected, including proper preparation and administration of this drug. Be sure to include dietary considerations related to treatment. Then, explain the short-term and long-term impact of this type of diabetes on patients. including effects of drug treatments. Be specific and provide examples.
Rosenthal, L. D., & Burchum, J. R. (2021). Lehne’s pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice nurses and physician assistants (2nd ed.) St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Chapter 48, “Drugs for Diabetes Mellitus” (pp. 397–415)
Chapter 49, “Drugs for Thyroid Disorders” (pp. 416–424)
American Diabetes Association. (2018). Pharmacologic approaches to glycemic treatment: Standards of medical care in diabetes Links to an external site.—2018. Diabetes Care, 41(Supplement 1), S73–S85. Retrieved from
This article provides guidance on pharmacologic approaches to glycemic treatment as it pertains to treating patients with diabetes. Reflect on the content of this article as you continue to examine potential drug treatments for patients with diabetes.
There are several different types of diabetes, each with distinct causes and characteristics. These include:
Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disorder that results in the destruction of the pancreas’s beta cells, which are responsible for producing insulin. This results in an absolute insulin deficiency, requiring patients with type 1 diabetes to rely on exogenous insulin therapy to control their blood sugar levels. This type of diabetes typically develops in childhood or adolescence, and people with type 1 diabetes are more likely to have certain genetic or environmental factors.
Type 2 diabetes, also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. It is characterized by a combination of insulin resistance and a decreased ability of the pancreas to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes typically develops later in life and is associated with obesity, physical inactivity, and other risk factors.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It occurs in about 2-10% of all pregnancies. This type of diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels that occur during pregnancy in women who do not have diabetes, however, gestational diabetes may sometimes cause long term diabetes and risks to the mother and baby.
Juvenile diabetes, is a rare form of diabetes that affects children, typically under age 6. Juvenile diabetes is caused by the destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
For the purpose of this discussion, let’s focus on Type 2 diabetes and its treatment.
One common class of drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes is known as biguanides, which includes the drug metformin. Metformin is taken orally and works by decreasing glucose production in the liver, increasing insulin sensitivity, and decreasing glucose absorption in the gut. It is typically used as initial therapy in type 2 diabetes, and is effective at reducing HbA1c, a measure of long-term blood sugar control.
Proper preparation and administration of metformin include taking it with a meal, starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it to the target dose, and avoiding it in certain conditions such as kidney dysfunction or a history of lactic acidosis.
Dietary considerations related to treatment with metformin include maintaining a healthy diet, with emphasis on low glycemic index foods, and regular physical activity to improve insulin sensitivity.
In the short-term, type 2 diabetes can lead to symptoms such as frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger, weight loss, and blurred vision. Long-term complications of type 2 diabetes include increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, nerve damage, and amputations.
Drug treatment for type 2 diabetes, such as metformin, can effectively lower HbA1c and prevent or delay the onset of these long-term complications. However, it is important to remember that diabetes is a chronic condition, and drug therapy should be combined with lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a healthy diet.

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