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Common Diabetes Drugs May Carry Risk, Study Suggests

Posted 26 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 26 – Diabetes patients who take drugs called sulfonylureas as an initial therapy have a higher risk of death than those who take the diabetes drug metformin, a new study says. The British researchers said the findings suggest that it may no longer be appropriate to offer sulfonylureas as a first-line treatment. Diabetes experts in the United States agreed that the study could have an impact on care. The findings "will change the practice of glucose [blood sugar]-lowering therapy," said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. But he added that "more study is need 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. Both metformin (brand names ... Read more

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Popular Diabetes Meds Put to the Test

Posted 6 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 6 – Patients with diabetes who were treated with the popular oral medication metformin face a lower risk of heart attack, stroke or death than those taking sulfonylureas, another common option, according to a large, multi-year study. Researchers who tracked hundreds of thousands of veterans with type 2 diabetes found that users of metformin (brand names include Glucophage and Fortamet) faced a "modest but clinically important" 21 percent lower risk of hospitalization because of cardiovascular complications than users of sulfonylureas (glyburide and glipizide). The researchers cautioned, however, that they couldn't pinpoint whether metformin protects against heart issues or whether, by contrast, sufonylureas pose a specific threat to heart health. It's possible that both are true. Although the researchers said the findings suggest metformin should be the preferred oral ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Metformin, Glucophage, Glipizide, Glyburide, Glimepiride, Amaryl, Glucophage XR, GlipiZIDE XL, Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL, Glumetza, Glucovance, Glyburide/Metformin, Glipizide/Metformin, Riomet, Fortamet, Glynase, DiaBeta, Tolazamide

Metformin Outperforms Common Class of Diabetes Drugs in Study

Posted 24 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, June 24 – Three widely used diabetes drugs are associated with a greater risk of death when compared to a popular drug from a different class, metformin, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 24,000 patients with type 2 diabetes, average age 62, who were treated with one of three drugs called sulfonylureas (glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride) or with another type of drug called metformin. Sulfonylureas help decrease blood sugar levels by stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin. Metformin also helps reduce blood sugar levels. Overall, all three sulfonylureas were associated with a more than 50 percent greater risk of death compared to metformin, according to the study, which was funded by drug company Astra Zeneca. The researchers also found that, among diabetes patients with heart disease, glipizide was associated with a 41 percent greater risk ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Metformin, Glucophage, Glipizide, Janumet, Glyburide, Glimepiride, Amaryl, Glucophage XR, GlipiZIDE XL, ActoPlus Met, Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL, Glumetza, Avandamet, Glucovance, Glyburide/Metformin, Jentadueto, Glipizide/Metformin, Metformin/Pioglitazone

Four Common Meds Send Thousands of Seniors to Hospital: CDC

Posted 23 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23 – An estimated 100,000 older Americans are hospitalized for adverse drug reactions yearly, and most of those emergencies stem from four common medications, a new study finds. The four types of medication – two for diabetes and two blood-thinning agents – account for two-thirds of those drug-related emergency hospitalizations. "Of the thousands of medications available to older patients, a small group of blood thinners and diabetes medications caused a high proportion of emergency hospitalizations for adverse drug events among elderly Americans," said lead study author Dr. Daniel Budnitz, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's medication safety program. Medications previously designated "high-risk" were implicated in only 1.2 percent of hospitalizations, the study found. Working with a nationally representative database, CDC researchers ... Read more

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Class of Drugs Linked to Higher Heart Risk in Older Diabetics

Posted 26 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, June 25 – New research shows that older people with type 2 diabetes who take drugs known as sulfonylureas to lower their blood sugar levels may face a higher risk for heart problems than their counterparts who take metformin. Of the more than 8,500 people aged 65 or older with type 2 diabetes who were enrolled in the trial, 12.4 percent of those given a sulfonylurea drug experienced a heart attack or other cardiovascular event, compared with 10.4 percent of those who were started on metformin. In addition, these heart problems occurred earlier in the course of treatment among those people taking the sulfonylurea drugs, the study showed. The head-to-head comparison trial is slated to be presented Saturday at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting in San Diego. Because the findings are being reported at a medical meeting, they should be considered preliminary until ... Read more

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Diabetes Drugs Go Head-to-Head in Study

Posted 4 Dec 2009 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 – A class of drugs still taken by millions of people with type 2 diabetes is associated with a higher risk of dying and heart failure than the newer treatment metformin, researchers say. Sulfonylureas, long a mainstay of diabetes treatment, performed less well than metformin in a study of oral anti-diabetes drugs, but doctors said the findings aren't necessarily a reason to discontinue taking them. Glyburide, glipizide and glimepiride are examples of sulfonylureas. Metformin, which is sold as Glucophage and other brand names, is already the first-choice therapy for type 2 diabetes, and the findings are in line with new American Diabetes Association recommendations, meaning the results won't change the way patients are already treated. "This raises some interesting points for other, more specific research, but it won't affect the way we practice medicine tomorrow," said ... Read more

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