This type of diabetes pill is especially good if your blood glucose is high after meals or if your meal schedule is not regular. It works quickly and allows for flexibility so that you can vary mealtimes and the number of meals you eat.


How They Work

When you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas does not make enough insulin. Meglitinides work by increasing the pancreas' production of insulin. Increased insulin helps glucose move from the bloodstream and into the body's cells, where it can be used for energy. Its fast action allows you to control your blood glucose even if you vary when you eat from day to day or the number of meals you eat in a day.


Possible Side Effects of Meglitinides

Talk with your doctor if you think the medicine is causing side effects. You may experience the following:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • low blood glucose, called hypoglycemia
  • weight gain


Possible Drug Interactions With Meglitinides

Before you take a meglitinide, tell all your doctors and your pharmacist about all the medicines you take. Include medicines you take for your diabetes as well as for any other problem. Tell them about everything you take and how much you take each day, including all of the following:

  • prescription medicines
  • over-the-counter medicines
  • herbs
  • vitamin and mineral supplements

It's best to keep an updated list of these and bring a copy to give to your doctor. That way you can add to it whenever you take something new or delete the types you no longer take. Make a copy for each of your doctors so that they can keep it in your file. This complete list helps your doctor be better prepared to prescribe diabetes pills that are the least likely to interact with your other treatments.


Many medicines can have harmful effects when you take them with other medicines. Always tell your doctor about all the medications that you take. Do not use any other medicine without your doctor's OK. Talk with your doctor before you use a meglitinide if you take other medications.

Written by award-winning health writer Bobbie Hasselbring

Reviewed by Beth Seltzer, MD

Last updated June 2008