ORAL AGENTS FOR TREATING DIABETES MELLITUS
Although insulin has the disadvantage of having to be injected, it is without question the most uniformly ef-fective treatment of diabetes mellitus. Some milder forms of diabetes mellitus that do not respond to diet management or weight loss and exercise can be treated with oral hypoglycemic agents. The success of oral hy-poglycemic drug therapy is usually based on a restora-tion of normal blood glucose levels and the absence of glycosuria. Traditionally, the term oral hypoglycemic was used interchangeably with sulfonylureas, but more recently the development of several new drugs has broadened this designation to include all oral medica-tions for diabetes. Because these drugs do not have to be injected, oral agents enhance compliance in type II diabetics. These classes of drugs are not generally used in type I diabetes. The pharmacokinetic profile of oral agents for diabetes is depicted in Table 67.4.