Question:What is nateglinide and repaglinide, and when are they used?
Answer:Nateglinide and repaglinide are two newer category of agents that can act in a very similar manner to the sulfonylureas drugs. Their benefit, or their advantage, is that they act for a much shorter time period than the sulfonylureas. Whereas the sulfonyureas may act a full 24 hours, and put you at greater risk for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugars, if you skip a meal; this category of drugs, repaglinide and nateglinide, actually act much shorter.
You take them just before you're about to eat your meal, and their effect is essentially gone within a couple of hours of finishing your meal. These agents may be more beneficial in older patients that may be skipping meals, or anybody that has a more irregular meal schedule. side effects, though, remain similar to sulfonylureas, in that you still may get a hypoglycemic episode, and you may get some weight gain with these agents.