Antidiabetic drug, any drug that works to lower abnormally high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood, which are characteristic of the endocrine system disorder known as diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to produce or respond to the pancreatic hormone insulin. One of the important physiological actions of insulin is to control blood glucose levels. Glucose is an important nutrient for cellular metabolism, and cells must receive neither too little nor too much.
A deficiency in the pancreatic secretion of insulin, or lack of tissue sensitivity to the hormone, leads to diabetes, the primary feature of which is elevated blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia). Most patients can be classified as having either type I diabetes or type II diabetes. Type I is characterized by a lack of production of insulin, whereas type II is characterized by tissue resistance to the insulin that is produced by the pancreas.