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Commonly used diabetes drugs increase the risk of death

According to detailed research, 3 commonly used drugs for type 2 diabetes actually raise the risk of death.

Researchers decided to compare three drugs: glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride with metformin. Glipizide, glyburide and glimepiride are in a class of medication called sulfonylureas. They help to lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics by stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin. In the past these drugs were all considered to be safe and effective. Fortunately some researchers decided to compare them with metformin.

Here is an interesting statement from study lead author Kevin M. Pantalone, D.O., an endocrinologist at Summa Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, OH: “We have clearly demonstrated that metformin is associated with a substantial reduction in mortality risk, and, thus, should be the preferred first-line agent, if one has a choice between metformin and a sulfonylurea”.

In the United States almost 26 million people have diabetes. The vast majority of them have type 2 diabetes. A large percentage of type 2 diabetics have coronary heart disease and are taking one or more medications for their heart. This is worrying because sulfonylureas can actually worsen a heart condition. In the study, glimepiride is the only drug studied that did not increase the risk of death compared to metformin. Worringly, glipizide was associated with a 41 percent higher risk, and for glyburide the figure was 38 percent.

It is important to remember that all medications have risks and benefits; however some drugs are significantly safer than others. Metformin is an old drug and is really one of the safest available. The brand new drugs on the market for type 2 diabetes have been linked with a heightened risk of heart disease, pancreatic cancer and kidney disease.

Please don’t discontinue any medication without consultation with your doctor. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to achieve a significant improvement through diet and supplements. Read more. You also may find that taking berberine improves your blood sugar, blood fats and body weight. Read more.

Reference

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