Medications

A new method of action for an older anti-diabetic drug discovered

A research team led by Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine's Professor OGAWA Wataru (the Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology) and Project Associate Professor NOGAMI Munenobu (the Department of Radiology) has discovered ...

Medications

Preoperative metformin tied to better surgical outcomes

(HealthDay)—Preoperative metformin prescriptions may be associated with decreased postoperative mortality and readmission among patients with diabetes undergoing a major surgical procedure, according to a study published ...

Overweight & Obesity

Can metformin reduce obesity in children and adolescents?

A new study has shown metformin—a glucose-lowering drug commonly used to treat diabetes—to be effective at lowering some measures of obesity in children and adolescents. The results of a systematic review and meta-analysis ...

Medications

Statins may lower mortality in high-risk prostate cancer patients

Among high-risk prostate cancer patients—those with high PSA and Gleason scores of 8 or more—many will develop a difficult-to-treat disease. Preliminary research suggests that two commonly prescribed medications, cholesterol-lowering ...

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Metformin

Metformin (INN, pronounced /mɛtˈfɔrmɨn/, met-fawr-min; originally sold as Glucophage) is an oral antidiabetic drug in the biguanide class. It is the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in particular, in overweight and obese people and those with normal kidney function. Evidence is also mounting for its efficacy in gestational diabetes, although safety concerns still preclude its widespread use in this setting. It is also used in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, and has been investigated for other diseases where insulin resistance may be an important factor.

When prescribed appropriately, metformin causes few adverse effects—the most common is gastrointestinal upset—and is associated with a low risk of hypoglycemia. Lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactate in the blood) can be a serious concern in overdose and when it is prescribed to people with contraindications, but otherwise, there is no significant risk. Metformin helps reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and is not associated with weight gain, and is the only antidiabetic drug that has been conclusively shown to prevent the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. As of 2010[update], metformin is one of only two oral antidiabetics in the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines (the other being glibenclamide).

First synthesized and found to reduce blood sugar in the 1920s, metformin was forgotten for the next two decades as research shifted to insulin and other antidiabetic drugs. Interest in metformin was rekindled in the late 1940s after several reports that it could reduce blood sugar levels in people, and in 1957, French physician Jean Sterne published the first clinical trial of metformin as a treatment for diabetes. It was introduced to the United Kingdom in 1958, Canada in 1972, and the United States in 1995. Metformin is now believed to be the most widely prescribed antidiabetic drug in the world; in the United States alone, more than 48 million prescriptions were filled in 2010 for its generic formulations.

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