Insulin is the medication of choice for type 1 diabetes, and sometimes for children with type 2 diabetes.
When starting an insulin regimen, a lower amount of insulin will produce good glucose control. This is called the honeymoon period. After 3-6 months, this dosage may not work as well so the insulin dosage may need to be adjusted.
Most children with diabetes who are taking insulin use a basal/bolus routine. Basal refers to long-acting insulin that is used as a base amount. Bolus refers to another dosage that is given just before meals as a boost. Insulin may be given in multiple doses or it can be given through a pump.
Insulin Pump Therapy
Insulin pump therapy is becoming more common in children with type 1 diabetes. This is sometimes called continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion or (CSII). This form of diabetes management is less labor-intensive than traditional methods that can require up to 4-6 insulin injections per day. This method allows a person to get extra insulin when they're about to eat without additional injection. The pump may decrease the frequency of severe hypoglycemia because it allows an immediate adjustment of insulin to the amount of food eaten.
Medications for Children with Type 2 Diabetes
Metformin can be used with children with type 2 diabetes. In addition, liraglutide (Victoza) is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist used as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in pediatric patients 10 years and older. There is a glucagon powder approved for the emergency treatment of severe hypoglycemia that can be administered nasally without an injection.