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Benefits and Drawbacks of Lowering Blood Sugar with Prandin and Starlix

The trivial phrase “We eat to live, not live to eat” may be considered sarcastic by people who suffer from diabetes type 2. It looks like food they eat not only fails to help them live - it may even harm their bodies and health. The matter is that in diabetics the nutrients from food and especially glucose, the source of energy, do not reach their destination – the cells of all the body tissues and organs. Instead, sugar is accumulated in the blood, which, in the long run, causes much trouble to a person.   

In order to help the body of a diabetes sufferer effectively and correctly use the consumed food, certain medications were developed by the modern pharmaceutical companies. Prandin and Starlix are the representatives of the newest generation of the drugs to treat type 2 diabetes.

Repaglinide in Prandin and nateglinide in Starlix are the agents, which stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. Thus, insulin deficiency observed in type 2 diabetes is successfully eliminated with these chemicals.

The main benefits of the drugs are the convenient treatment plan, rapid onset of action, and their temporary activity. A patient should take the smallest effective dose (defined by a doctor) right before each meal or about 15-30 minutes before meals; therefore, medications start working at the same time when food is consumed. The initial dose of Prandin is 0.5 mg; that of Starlix is 60 mg.

This regimen allows patients not to forget taking their pills and avoid sugar spikes in the bloodstream that take place during eating. In addition, if one skips meal, he does not have to take drugs either. The pills do not work around the clock: they act only if their help is really needed – during mealtime.

Another advantage of Prandin and Starlix is the possibility to combine them with such glucose-controlling drugs as, for example, metformin or the group of medications known as thiazolidinediones. A huge benefit of the described anti-diabetics is that they must always be used only as an adjunct to the lifestyle therapy – regular exercising and healthy diet. 

The weak-points of Prandin and Starlix manifest themselves through a number of side effects (respiratory infections, flu-like symptoms, headache, dizziness, upset stomach and back or joints pain), the most frequent and worrisome of which is hypoglycemia. In order to control the latter, one should regularly measure blood sugar levels. However, good news is that some amount of sugar (candy or fruit juice) taken in case of hypoglycemia or pills overdose usually stabilizes the situation.

One more disadvantage of the drugs is that they may gradually lose their effectiveness in case of long-term treatment, thus dose adjustment may be necessary. In addition, there is no data about the possibility of Prandin and Starlix use in case of insulin resistance – a state when enough insulin is produced in the body, but it fails to work, because insulin receptors do not react to it properly.

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Multiple drug interactions are also the disadvantage of these anti-diabetes medications. They include antibacterial, antifungal, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, barbiturates, blood thinners, antidepressants, corticosteroids, cardiovascular medications, oral contraceptives and others.

Prandin and Starlix should not be used by kids, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and sufferers of liver disorders.

In view of the existence of pros and cons of the drugs described here, the final decision about their usage by every particular patient should be made by a professional health-care provider.


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