What are meglitinides?

Meglitinides are drugs that stimulate the beta cells to release insulin. Repaglinide (Prandin) and nateglinide (Starlix) are meglitinides. They are taken before each of three meals. Because meglitinides stimulate the release of insulin, it is possible to have hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels).
Meglitinide medications are used to treat type 2 diabetes. Some examples of meglitinide medication are repaglinide (Prandin) and nateglinide (Starlix). They are taken by mouth (orally) as a pill.

Meglitinides help to lower the amount of glucose in your bloodstream (your blood glucose) -- particularly the glucose from the meal you just ate. They do this by increasing the amount of insulin released by your pancreas. With more insulin to “unlock” your body’s cells, more glucose can move into them. As a result, your blood glucose goes down.

Meglitinides can’t cure your diabetes. But by helping control your blood glucose, they lower the chance that your diabetes will cause serious problems. As you know, when you have diabetes, you tend to have high blood glucose. Over time, this can damage your blood vessels and nerves, leading to heart attack or stroke, kidney and eye disease, and problems with your teeth, feet, and skin. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol -- like many people with diabetes -- you have an even greater risk for these problems. (This is why you should always take your blood pressure or cholesterol medications as well as your diabetes medications.)

Meglitinide medications are taken by mouth (orally) as a pill. They work best when you’re following the rest of your diabetes treatment plan. This means checking your blood glucose regularly, following your meal plan and exercising every day. It may also include taking other diabetes medications.