Type 2 diabetes treatment news 2016: Metformin - the best treatment for type 2 diabetes?

(Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)A person receives a test for diabete during Care Harbor LA free medical clinic in Los Angeles, California September 11, 2014

Due to the growing rate of patients with diabetes, more researchers are conducting clinical tests to determine the best treatment for the incurable disease.

A team of doctors conducted a study on Metformin being the first choice of treatment for type 2 diabetes. The team was led by Nisa M. Maruthur, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. The result was already posted in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In an interview with the Medscape Medical News, Dr. Maruthur said, "We conclude that metformin should remain a first-line therapy because its effect on HbA1c is similar to other medications. Metformin has a long-term safety profile. It's weight neutral or helps people lose weight, it has gastrointestinal side effects but they are avoidable or tolerable, and of course metformin looks better for cardiovascular mortality than sulfonylureas."

Another analysis was conducted by Shari Bolen, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at the Case Western Reserve University's Center for Health Care Research and Policy in Cleveland, together with her colleagues, notes Renal and Urology News. The team has proven that metformin has decreased the danger of death through heart attack and stroke by about 30 percent to 40 percent as compared to sulfonylureas like glibenclamide, glimepiride, and tolbutamide.

They also concluded that the evidences from their study deem metformin as the first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes due to its safe and favorable effects on hemoglobin A1c, weight and cardiovascular mortality.

Meanwhile, Scotland, ranking third in the highest rate of diabetes in the world, has begun a clinical study to examine the prophylactic use of metformin for type 1 diabetes in children, notes PharmaTimes. This is supported by an initial budget of 1.7 million pounds from JDRF.

The research team is led by Professor Terence Wilkin, of the University of Exeter Medical School. Professor Wilkin said, "If successful, the trial will offer a means of preventing type 1 diabetes with a cost-effective medication, and could be made immediately available to children at risk." The site also mentioned that about 80,000 children are susceptible to acquire type 1 diabetes around the world, each year.