Published on : Jul 01, 2014
According to a recent study published in the journal called JAMA Internal Medicine, type-2 diabetes medication disadvantages might exceed the advantages for some patients. Especially, these benefits might exceed the downsides for the elderly patients.
A team at the University College London has asked doctors to evaluate these risks more clearly with patients. A charity organization called Diabetes UK stated that doctors need to find a careful balance when prescribing a treatment to diabetic patients.
Type-2 diabetes is a condition in which the body is not able to control the blood sugar levels. This condition is related to lifestyle factors such as obesity and diet. The long-terms effects associated with this condition include kidney damage, heart disease, blindness, and nerve damage.
Metformin is used to lower blood sugar levels and to avoid the side effects.
However, in a report an average 45-year-old who has lowered blood sugar levels by one percent would gain 10 months of health life, in comparison to the three weeks for a 75-year-old who was starting the treatment.
This tends to imbalance the downsides of the medication to its benefits. The downsides include need for having multiple injection and blood sugar test each day, insulin treatments which risk lowering of blood sugar level dangerously, or drugs which tend to cause sickness or indigestion.
Hence, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has advised the NHS to offer medication when lifestyle therapies like dietary changes cannot help to achieve the target level.