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Common Diabetes Drugs in the Philippines

Diabetes has become a national epidemic with over 3 million Filipinos suffering from the disease. Most Filipinos however are either ignorant of their sickness or not taking the disease seriously, which results to complications because it is already too late to remedy the disease.

To many Filipino diabetics, proper diet and insulin injections are the two most common treatments that are known. However, there are also drugs that are used for helping control diabetics. A famous drug for diabetes is the meglitinides and sulfonylureas, which acts to incite the production and release of insulin to reduce blood sugar levels in the body. This is used by diabetic patients who still have natural insulin production.

However, the drug has the propensity to cause overproduction of insulin which in turn can result to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Another drug for diabetics is biguanides and thiazolidinediones, which helps the body to be more responsive to insulin, which however has side effects like diarrhea and can increased risks of heart failure. Lately a new drug called vildagliptin is now available which help develop beta-cell mass and increase body’s responsiveness to insulin which help regulate sugar levels and prevent risks of heart diseases.

Aside from proper diet, insulin and drugs, another common treatment method that many Filipinos use in combating diabetes is the use of herbal medicines. The two most common herbal plants use as medicine for diabetes is banaba and ampalaya (bitter gourd). The banaba leaves have corosolic acid and a natural plant insulin which help control blood sugar levels. The ampalaya or Momordica Charantia is believed to develop beta cells mass in the pancreas that helps in enhancing its ability to produce insulin. Both plants have been recommended by the Department of Health as a dietary supplement for diabetes. However, it must be noted through that ampalaya and banaba supplements still have no approved therapeutic claim.

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