Physician's group urging use of metformin to treat type 2 diabetes
The American College of Physicians has issued new guidelines for use of a drug to treat patients with type 2 diabetes -- one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
The drug metformin has been around for many years but has not been widely used. Now a national group, which gives treatment recommendations to family doctors, is urging physicians to prescribe metformin to patients with type 2 diabetes.
“There are other drugs out there but they’re expensive and brand names,” said Dr. Nitin Damle, president of the American College of Physicians.
If the disease cannot be controlled with diet and exercise, metformin is a safe choice, he said.
“It's even safe to use in people who have chronic liver disease and who have mild to moderate kidney dysfunction, which is different from what’s traditionally been thought of in terms of it’s safety," Dr. Damle said.
ACP updated its 2012 guideline on the effectiveness and safety of oral medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes because of several new studies, as well as recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals of several new medications.The national physician’s group develops its clinical guidelines through a process of reviewing clinical studies and other evidence, including randomized control trials and data from observational studies, an ACP spokesman said.
Diabetes affects 29 million people in the U.S. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease affecting 90 to 95 percent of people with the disease. Wth the rising rates of obesity in the country, the number of people being diagnosed with diabetes is increasing rapidly. Damle said.