Drug Class and Mechanism: Nateglinide is an oral drug used to lower blood sugar (glucose) levels in type 2 diabetes. It is in a class of drugs called meglitinides which also includes repaglinide (Prandin). Approximately 90% of patients with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in adults and is associated with obesity and a strong family history of diabetes. Insulin is an important hormone that controls the blood level of glucose.
Type 2 diabetics have an inability to control blood glucose levels. This is caused by reduced secretion of insulin from the pancreas after meals and resistance of the body’s cells to the effect of insulin which is to stimulate the cells to remove glucose from the blood. This leads to high levels of blood glucose. Starlix stimulates cells in the pancreas to produce insulin in a manner similar to the class of drugs called sulfonylureas, e.g., glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase and Micronase) which also are used in type 2 diabetes. However, Starlix appears to have a faster onset and a shorter duration of action than sulfonylureas. The benefit of this faster, shorter effect may be to prevent the rapid, transient rise in blood glucose that occurs in diabetics immediately following a meal. Nateglinide was approved by the FDA in December, 2000.
Prescribed For: Nateglinide is used to control blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes. It may be used with diet and exercise when diet and exercise alone are not successful in controlling blood glucose. It also may be used with metformin, another drug that is used for controlling blood glucose in type 2 diabetes. Starlix is not recommended if blood glucose levels have not been controlled by a sulfonylurea since Starlix and sulfonylureas have a similar mechanism of action. Therefore, if sulfonylureas are ineffective, it is likely that Starlix also will be ineffective.
Possible Food And Drug Interactions When Taking Starlix
If Starlix is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Starlix with the following:
Airway-opening drugs such as Alupent and Proventil
Beta blockers such as the blood pressure medications Inderal and Tenormin
Corticosteroids such as prednisone (Deltasone)
Decongestants such as Sudafed
MAO inhibitors such as the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Motrin, and Naprosyn
Salicylates such as the arthritis drugs Disalcid and Trilisate
Thiazide diuretics such as the water pills Esidrix and HydroDIURIL
Thyroid medications such as Synthroid
Be careful about drinking alcohol, since excessive alcohol consumption can cause low blood sugar. Also be careful when having a liquid meal; it could reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
Dosing: Nateglinide may be prescribed at 60 or 120 mg three times daily. The dose is adjusted depending upon blood glucose and HbA1c levels. Nateglinide should be taken 30 minutes or less before a meal but should not be taken if a meal is skipped.
Storage: Nateglinide should be stored at room temperature, 15-30°C(59-86°F) in an air-tight container.
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Alice – Starlix has been a great help to keep my blood sugar under control.
Rose – I was taking Novolog on a sliding scale three times a day. Now with starlix I was able to give up those three shots a day. My sugars are running between 70 and 115. I do st8ill take 36 units of Levimir at bedtime.
Anya – I have been taking Starlix (along with Metformin and Lantus) for three years. I rarely have lows and have seen no weight gain. I have found that if I take Starlix 30 min. before my meal, it will drop my blood sugar to an acceptable level before I eat.
Ciara – I have been taking this drug for over five years.it has worked well with controling my sugar levels.my a1c results have been averaging 5.2 i was switched to starlix from glucophage and glucotrol which led to helping my kidneys fail. starlix works better for me because of my meal schedule. i would recommend this drug.