Prediabetes Medications And Treatment

Last updated on September 30th, 2023

Prediabetes is an ailment marked by elevated sugar levels that have not yet reached the diabetic range. Prediabetes affects hundreds worldwide. It serves as a critical warning sign, indicating a higher risk of progressing to full-blown diabetes if left unmanaged. While lifestyle changes play a pivotal role in deterring this progression, prediabetes medications can also be a valuable tool in the battle against prediabetes. In this comprehensive blog, we will go into the details of prediabetes medications, exploring their types and benefits, listing some common prediabetes meds, dosage, medication pre diabetes side effects, and period of consumption. Whether you’re someone diagnosed with prediabetes or just curious seeking to better understand treatment options. This blog aims to provide you with the knowledge to figure out the best medicine for prediabetes and more.

Read More: What is Prediabetes and its Causes?

Types of Prediabetes Treatments

In prediabetes treatments, there are multiple components involved:

  • Lifestyle Modifications
  • Prediabetes Medicine
  • Related tests and diagnosis

Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle modifications that can control and even reverse prediabetes. There are two main lifestyle changes you can adopt, which are choosing a mindful, balanced diet and physical workout. Several studies have highlighted the positive effect of these lifestyle modifications on prediabetes treatments. Prediabetes and weight loss have a strong connection. Overweight diabetes patients Other changes which you can follow include:

  • Undisturbed 7-8 hours of sleeping schedule
  • Doing muscle-building exercises
  • Weight control for overweight prediabetes patients
  • Being hydrated
  • Avoiding foods containing sugar and simple carbs.
  • Choosing low GI and fiber-rich foods

Read More: How to Reverse Prediabetes Permanently?

Prediabetes Medicine

Med for pre diabetes is given when the above method can’t control pre diabetes blood sugar levels. Or when you have high pre diabetes blood glucose levels. Medicinal drugs for prediabetes can help lower your sugar levels. Thus lessening the risk of elevation to diabetes type 2. Metformin for prediabetes treatment is the most common medicine prescribed. However, there are other med for prediabetes that can be used. Overweight or obese prediabetes patients have higher than required BMI and are more likely to be given prediabetes medications. 

Read More: Know The Prediabetes Range Before and After Eating.

The onset of prediabetes increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol. High pre diabetes blood sugar levels can lead to

  • Stroke
  • Heart ailments
  • Kidney diseases
  • Eye damage

The prediabetes treatment plan includes constant blood pressure and cholesterol testing. Also, for controlling prediabetes, regular fasting and post-prandial blood tests are to be done. 

Read More: Can Type 2 Diabetes be Reversed Permanently?

List of Prediabetes Medicines

Common Prediabetes Meds

Common prediabetes medications that are used for managing prediabetes include:

1. Metformin

This is often the first-line and best medication for prediabetes considered largely. It is a blood sugar lowering medication that assists in managing sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity.

2. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

These prediabetes medications slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, reducing the post-meal spike in blood sugar levels. Common alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are Acarbose and Miglitol.

3. Thiazolidinediones

These pre diabetic meds can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels. Thiazolidinediones boost glucose metabolism to lower blood sugar. However, they reduce fat metabolism, leading to weight gain. Common thiazolidinediones are Pioglitazone and Rosiglitazone.

Read More: Best Diabetes Diet Plan – Dietary Guidelines For Diabetic Patients

4. GLP-1 receptor agonists

These drugs stimulate insulin release and slow down digestion, helping to lower blood sugar levels. GLP-1 receptor agonists prediabetes medication are Exenatide and Liraglutide.

5. SGLT2 inhibitors

This prediabetes medicine works by causing the kidneys to excrete excess glucose through urine, lowering blood sugar levels. Common SGLT2 inhibitors are Canagliflozin and Dapagliflozin.

6. DPP-4 inhibitors

This drug or prediabetes med increases the levels of incretin hormones, which stimulate insulin release and decrease blood sugar levels. Common DPP-4 inhibitors are Sitagliptin and Saxagliptin.

The above-mentioned prediabetes anti diabetic medication are biguanides, thiazolidinediones and CE+-Glucosidase inhibitors. However, the most commonly used pre diabetic medicine is Metformin. Metformin lowers pre diabetes blood glucose levels in the following ways:

  • Boosts insulin sensitivity in body cells to decrease pancreas’ glucose production.
  • An increase in insulin sensitivity in cells allows muscle tissues to eliminate sugar from the bloodstream to lower your blood glucose levels.
  • Increases anaerobic respiration, increasing the use of glucose in gastrointestinal cells.
  • Increase in glucagons, including peptide-1 (GLP-1), beta cell GLP-1 receptors, etc., which helps lower blood glucose.

The major benefit of using metformin for prediabetes is it controls your cholesterol and helps in weight management. This is a boon for overweight prediabetes patients. Although the weight loss effects of metformin only last for 6 months to a year. But still is better than other prediabetes meds as their side effects include weight gain.

However, do remember it’s mandatory to consult a doctor to determine the most suitable medication and plan for your specific prediabetes treatment.

Read More: Know About Good Foods for Prediabetes

Need for Metformin for Prediabetes Treatments

Many prediabetes patients suffer from acute prediabetes, so lifestyle modifications like diet and workouts aren’t enough to bring down the prediabetes blood sugar levels. Another case may be the prediabetic isn’t able to follow the diet plan and workout schedule. Thus failing natural prediabetes treatment and necessitating the use of supplements to reverse prediabetes or else at least control it. The main aim of prediabetes treatments is to stop the progress of prediabetes into full-scale type 2 diabetes. 

There can also be other medical conditions involved where lifestyle becomes very hard to change. Or the body gets stuck at a particular weight or genetic issues. In these circumstances, doctors will prescribe medication pre-diabetes. The probability of onset of type 2 diabetes in prediabetics increases when:

  • Body mass index (BMI) becomes 35 kg/m² or more
  • You are more than 35 years
  • You have type 2 diabetes in the family
  • You have a previous record of gestational diabetes
  • You belong to an Asian, African, or Indo-American ethnicity

Read More: Foods To Avoid While Taking Metformin.

Taking Metformin for Prediabetes

Metformin for prediabetes treatment helps lower blood glucose effectively. Let us know how it does that:

  • Metformin reduces the quantity of glucose produced by the liver.
  • It reduces the glucose absorption from the food you intake in the intestines.
  • It increases insulin sensitivity by helping the body use insulin effectively.

Metformin for prediabetes is considered the best medicine for prediabetes. It greatly reduces the development of type 2 diabetes. This prediabetes medication has been under rigorous studies and is generally safe for majority use. This prediabetes anti diabetic medication has a very low risk of hypoglycemia (ultra-low blood sugar). And requires very little monitoring by your doctor and you.

It is a very beneficial med for pre diabetes. Moreover, several researchers advocate its benefit for prediabetes treatments for those aged 60 or less. Metformin for prediabetes is the only American Diabetes Association (ADA) approved and recommended pre diabetic medicine. 

Read More: Metformin 500mg For Diabetics Pateients.

Metformin Dosage

When taking metformin for prediabetes there isn’t any standardized dosage because it’s used as off-label medicine. The metformin dosage will vary from person to person, depending on the body’s response. Therefore, you should only intake metformin on a doctor’s prescription and in the amount they specify.

Generally, individuals start with a low dosage of metformin to minimize its side effects. For example, when starting metformin medication, 850 mg of metformin per day initially can be increased twice or thrice daily in upcoming weeks. 

Metformin prediabetes medicine is available in both immediate-release and extended-delayed-release versions. Generally, Metformin IR is taken twice a day after meals. Metformin ER is taken once a day on an empty stomach or after meals as advised by your doctor.

Read More: What Is Diabetes Leg Pain?

Side Effects of Metformin or Other Prediabetes Medication

Side Effects of Metformin or Other Prediabetes Medication

Metformin for prediabetes can have side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects of metformin for prediabetes med may include

Gastrointestinal Issues

This is the most common side effect of pre diabetic meds. These include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and gas. These symptoms often improve over time.

Lactic Acidosis

This is another medication pre diabetics side effect. Although rare, it’s a serious side effect that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms may include muscle pain, weakness, trouble breathing, stomach pain, and an irregular heartbeat.

Read More: Connections Between Diabetes and Hypertension.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Long-term use of metformin prediabetes medications may lead to reduced absorption of vitamin B12, potentially causing anemia, neuropathy, and other complications.

Decreased Appetite

Another side effect of prediabetes meds is that some individuals may experience a reduced appetite. Persisting with this symptom may lead to weight loss while taking metformin.

Some may find Metformin IR hard to withstand, so then Metformin ER may be suggested. Moreover, many people also suggest altering your fiber intake and addition of probiotics to manage diarrhea symptoms. But this is still under review.  

It’s important to note that the benefits of metformin for prediabetes in managing blood sugar often outweigh the potential side effects. Therefore, we advise not taking metformin prediabetes medication without a doctor’s prescription. Doctors carefully consider an individual’s medical history and specific needs when prescribing it. If you experience any unusual or severe side effects while taking metformin, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider promptly.

Read More: Can Intermittent Fasting Benefit People with Diabetes?

Will Metformin Prediabetes Meds go on forever?

There is no defined period as to how long metformin prediabetes medicine may go on. Some might be able to lose body weight and lower their pre diabetes blood glucose levels and HbA1c within the first few months. Thus, cessation of their metformin usage. However, some may have to use metformin for longer periods. So, there’s no specific period; therefore, your doctor will be the best judge in this case. 

Do remember it takes a few months to witness changes in HbA1c levels after starting metformin. So generally, you will be on metformin prediabetes anti diabetic medication for at least some months.

Read More: Is Type 2 Diabetes Curable?


In the face of rising prediabetes diagnosis worldwide, the role of prediabetes medications in managing this condition cannot be underestimated. We’ve explored a range of prediabetes medications, from metformin to newer options, highlighting their effectiveness, their need, dosage, side effects, etc. However, it’s crucial to remember that medication alone is not a magic bullet. Lifestyle alterations, including balanced foods and regular physical training, remain the cornerstone of prediabetes management. Do remember to consult a doctor before making a decision to start prediabetes meds treatments.

Read More: What Is Type 2 Diabetes Management?


Can Prediabetes Be Stopped?

Yes, you can stop prediabetes effectively through natural means and pre diabetes remedies and also prediabetes ayurvedic medicine. However, we would advise first to go for controlling prediabetes naturally through life modifications. Prediabetes medications are only to be used after natural reduction means turn ineffective.

What HbA1c is prediabetic?

Prediabetes HbA1c level is higher than normal HbA1c but lower than diabetes HbA1c level. A prediabetic HbA1c lies between 5.7% to 6.4%.

Should Prediabetics take medicine?

All pre diabetics may not necessarily be required to go for prediabetes medicine. First, try to treat prediabetes naturally through lifestyle changes. These include switching to a balanced diet and engaging in physical workouts. However, if still there is no improvement in your condition, your doctor may prescribe meds for pre diabetes.

Can Metformin Reverse Prediabetes?

Yes, metformin for prediabetes treatments is considered a good option to control pre diabetes blood sugar levels. Constant metformin usage clubbed with lifestyle modifications will definitely help you reverse prediabetes.

Does prediabetes need medicine?

Not all pre diabetes patients may need prediabetes medications. You can also naturally control and reverse prediabetes through lifestyle modification. The main lifestyle modifications will be diet control and switching diabetes diabetes-friendly foods. And starting some physical workouts, including muscle-building exercises. But if there are some other diseases and genetic issues, you may need pre diabetes meds.
Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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