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Oral hypoglycemic agents

Oral hypoglycemic agents are pills or capsules that people take to lower the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The pills work for some people whose pancreas still makes some insulin. They can help the body in several ways such as causing the cells in the pancreas to release more insulin.

Six types of these pills are for sale in the United States. Four, known as "first-generation" drugs, have been in use for some time. Two types, called "second-generation" drugs, have been developed recently. They are stronger than first-generation drugs and have fewer side effects. All oral hypoglycemic agents belong to a class of drugs known as sulfonylureas[?]. Each type of pill is sold under two names: one is the generic name as listed by the Food and Drug Administration; the other is the trade name given by the manufacturer. They are:

  • First-generation agents
    • Generic Name: Tolbutamide, Trade Name: Orinase
    • Generic Name: Acetohexamide, Trade Name: Dymelor
    • Generic Name: Tolazamide, Trade Name: Tolinase
    • Generic Name: Chloropropamide, Trade Name: Diabinese
  • Second-generation agents
    • Generic Name: Glipizide, Trade Name: Glucotrol
    • Generic Name: Glyburide, Trade Name: Diabeta, Micronase

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