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Diabetes drugs you inject that aren't insulin

Insulin injections are a well-known treatment for type 1 diabetes and for some people with type 2 diabetes. However, other injectable diabetes medications for type 2 diabetes are available called GLP-1 analogues or incretin mimetics.

These injectable treatments are designed to act in a similar way to the body's natural hormone GLP-1. This helps the body produce insulin when high blood sugar levels are detected, and with a lower risk of very low blood sugar ( hypoglycaemia, or hypos).

GLP-1 analogues currently used by the NHS include exenatide and liraglutide.

A doctor may select these injectables for people with type 2 diabetes who are obese and taking metformin plus a sulphonylurea. The injections may also lead to some modest weight loss.

Injections are usually daily, but a once-a-week version of exenatide is available.

Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and headache.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on October 23, 2017

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