Background: Diabetes is a multifactorial disease and a major cause for many microvascular and macrovascular complications. The disease will ultimately lead to high rate mortality if it is not managed properly. Treatment of diabetes without any side effects has always remained a major challenge for the health care practitioners.
Introduction: The current review discusses the various conventional drugs, herbal drugs, combination therapy and the use of nutraceuticals for the effective management of diabetes mellitus. The biotechnological aspects of various antidiabetic drugs are also discussed.
Methods: Structured search of bibliographic databases for previously published peer-reviewed research papers was explored and data was culminated in terms of various approaches that are used for the treatment of diabetes.
Results: More than 170 papers including both, research and review articles, were included in this review in order to produce a comprehensive as well as readily understandable article. A series of herbal and synthetic drugs have been discussed along with their current status of treatment in terms of dose, mechanism of action and possible side effects. The article also focuses on combination therapies containing synthetic as well as herbal drugs to treat the disease. The role of pre and probiotics in management of diabetes is also highlighted.
Conclusion: Oral antihyperglycemics which are used to treat diabetes can cause many adverse effects and if given in combination can lead to drug-drug interactions. The combination of various phytochemicals with synthetic drugs can overcome the challenge faced by the synthetic drug treatment. Herbal and nutraceuticals therapy and the use of probiotics and prebiotics is a more holistic therapy due to its natural origin and traditional use.