Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12 Tips for Traveling With Diabetes
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter
Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Metformin Archives
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

Common Diabetes Drugs May Carry Risk, Study Suggests


Nov 2, 2013

The molecular structure of sulfonylureas

When it comes to the treatment of type 2 diabetes, metformin may be a safer choice than sulfonylureas, according to the results of a new study.

In the study, conducted in Great Britain, people who used sulfonylureas as an initial way to control their blood glucose levels had a higher risk of death than those taking metformin.

Sulfonylureas encourage increased production of insulin by the pancreas, while metformin suppresses the production of blood glucose in the liver.

The study focused on thousands of people with type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom who began firs-line treatments to lower blood sugar levels between 2000 and 2012. Participants were followed for an average of three years.

Data showed that those who took sulfonylureas as that first-line treatment were 58 percent more likely to die from any cause than those who took metformin alone.

The results were presented earlier this year at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, Spain.

Experts say the study could have an impact on how type 2 diabetes is treated in the future.

The findings "will change the practice of glucose-lowering therapy," said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, in an interview with U.S. News and World Reports.

But he added that "more study is needed to confirm this data," and use of the alternative drug, metformin, is not always the answer. "Metformin and other oral hypoglycemic agents have their drawbacks, and probably we will see earlier use of insulin in type 2 diabetics," Mezitis said.

Other experts suggested that the study results were not totally unexpected, since sulfonylureas and metformin fight diabetes in different ways.

The study was funded by the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, which manufactures the drug metformin under the brand name Glucophage.


Categories: Glucophage , Metformin, Sulfonylureas



You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.