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How Meglitinides works?
Meglitinides, specifically repaglinide and nateglinide, affect the physiology of pancreatic beta cells and their sensitivity to glucose. They do not “slow” diabetes in the sense of curing it, but rather help people with type 2 diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels. A more extensive explanation of the molecular mechanisms by which meglitinides function to regulate blood sugar is provided below:
1. KATP Channel Binding: Meglitinides are tiny compounds that bind to the ATP-dependent potassium (KATP) channels on the surface of pancreatic beta cells. These channels play an important role in the control of insulin secretion.
2. KATP Channel Closure: When blood sugar levels rise (for example, after a meal), glucose reaches pancreatic beta cells. The KATP channels are normally open, allowing potassium ions to flow out of the beta cells. This outward flow of potassium maintains the beta cells hyperpolarized, inhibiting insulin release.
3. Insulin Release Stimulation: When meglitinides attach to KATP channels, they force these channels to shut. This closure causes beta cells to depolarize, which activates voltage-gated calcium channels. Calcium influx causes beta cells to release stored insulin into the circulation.
4. Blood Sugar Reduction: The insulin released then acts on cells throughout the body, allowing them to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. This activity reduces blood sugar levels by boosting glucose absorption and utilization by cells, particularly those in muscle and fat tissues.
It’s critical to recognize that meglitinides are glucose-dependent. This means that they promote insulin secretion in response to high blood sugar levels, such as those experienced after eating. When compared to other diabetic drugs, they do not cause the release of insulin when blood sugar levels are already within the normal range or low, which helps lower the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Meglitinides help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels by improving the pancreas’ ability to respond to blood sugar increases with the secretion of insulin. Their effects, however, are generally short-lived, thus they are typically taken immediately before meals to address the post-meal blood sugar surge.
Meglitinides are a type of diabetic medicine that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. The two most common meglitinide medicines available on the market are:
- Repaglinide (Brand name: Prandin): Repaglinide is a widely known meglitinide medication in the U.S. It is available in various dosage forms, including tablets. Prandin is a common brand name associated with repaglinide.
- Nateglinide (Brand name: Starlix): Nateglinide is another meglitinide medication available in the United States. Starlix is a well-known brand name for nateglinide.
It’s worth noting that, in addition to these brand-name meglitinides, generic repaglinide and nateglinide may be available. Generic drugs have the same active substance as brand-name pharmaceuticals but are frequently less expensive.
Based on your unique circumstances, insurance coverage, and local availability, your healthcare professional may prescribe the brand-name version or a generic counterpart of meglitinides. The active ingredient remains the same regardless of brand or generic version, and the prescription works in a similar manner to help regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and take your medication as prescribed.