Role Of Medications for Pre-Diabetic Management: An Overview

Pre-diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugar, signaling a risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

As prevention or treatment, lifestyle modifications remain the cornerstone of managing pre-diabetes. However, medications also play a key role in glycemic control and a decreased risk of progression to type 2 diabetes.

Here are the primary medication options used to treat or manage the onset of Pre-diabetes:

Metformin for pre-diabetes

As the most commonly prescribed medicine for pre-diabetes, Metformin helps reduce excess liver glucose production and improve insulin sensitivity. 

It cannot cure your pre-diabetes, but can certainly help control blood sugar levels for those at a greater risk of progressing toward type 2 diabetes.

As per recent studies conducted by the American Diabetes Association, metformin should be prescribed for patients with a BMI greater than 35 and those under the age of 60. 

GLP- 1 Receptor agonists

This class of injectable medications helps treat type 2 diabetes by stimulating insulin secretion and slowing down gastric emptying. 

They also promote weight loss by suppressing glucagon release and improving blood sugar control.

They are divided into short-acting and long-acting GLP-1 RAs as one group helps control blood sugar post-meals and the other throughout the day and night.  

These medications also work by reducing the liver’s sugar production in the bloodstream.

SGLT-2 inhibitors

These medications help reduce increased urinary glucose excretion by blocking glucose reabsorption in the kidneys. 

SGLT-2 inhibitors not only help lower blood sugar but also provide cardiovascular benefits.

Benefits & considerations

Medications are recommended for those who can’t manage to treat prediabetes with lifestyle choices alone.

Individuals who haven’t been able to achieve healthy blood sugar levels via lifestyle modifications typically require a healthcare provider’s help.

Even though these individuals are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, medication should be prescribed according to everyone’s overall health and pre-existing conditions. 

There are potential side effects of treating prediabetes via medications.


It is wise to remember that most medications, no matter how heavily recommended, only work in conjunction with mindful lifestyle modifications or weight management.

Regular health checkups for those at risk are a strong preventative measure to help track blood sugar levels for optimal results.

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