This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

New treatments provide alternatives to metformin

Written by: | Published:

Many people cannot use metformin and other drugs New guidance recommends treatments for those unable to take metformin

Three new treatments for type 2 diabetes have been recommended by NICE, for patients who cannot use metformin, sulfonylurea or pioglitazone.

The treatments are also suitable for patients who are not controlling their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise alone, to manage their condition.

Read more: Metformin use and B12 deficiency: What nurses need to know

'We know that different people with type 2 diabetes may respond favourably to different medications,’ said Simon O’Neill, director of health intelligence and professional liaison at Diabetes UK. ‘So this guidance offers more choice for clinicians to individualise the care they provide, which can have a significant impact on the quality of life of some people with Type 2 diabetes.’

Read more: Ten things you should know about type 2 diabetes

As many as 31,000 people with the condition may be eligible for the new drugs, canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin. The drugs are designed to help patients who cannot take more commonly prescribed treatments control their blood sugar. ‘[The new drugs] give people with type 2 diabetes and their healthcare team more options when metformin is not appropriate,’ added Mr O’Neil.

Read more: Interventions that prevent pre-diabetes from becoming type 2

Many people with type 2 may not suit treatment with drugs such as metformin, which can cause side effects such as nausea and diarrhoea. Those with kidney damage are also unable to take such drugs.

‘For many people whose blood glucose levels aren’t controlled by diet and exercise, metformin is the first drug treatment that they’ll be offered,’ said Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation. ‘For people who can’t take a sulfonylurea or pioglitazone, then the three drugs recommended in this guidance can be considered. This is as an alternative to the separate group of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors.’

According to NICE, in the UK, almost 3.5 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes. Of these, it is estimated that roughly 90% of adults have type 2 diabetes.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Metformin gave me such diarrhea that I had to stop going out to eat with friends.
But now my. blood sugar is uncon%plied by just being on glipizide only... Help!
.
Posted by: ,
Metform honestly makes me very sick. Very hard n huge stomach that is sore like there is something stuck on upper part of stomach. Vomiting. Always tired. No appetite. Lot of saliva on my mouth. Theres a lot. So wish to get a medicine not pills to treat my diabetes s it is never below 15mmol. Never.
Posted by: ,
I am on roller coaster Metformin gives me so much stomach distress and diarreha the =DR , recently switch me it ozempic injection.I had a worse reaction with it.Vomit, dirrreaha and terrible distress had to go to ER for extreme Dehydration had to get IVs I also take Glipizide which works pretty good as long as I eat a snack, Now Dr, took me off both Metformin and the injection. until we can come up with something else. I have minimal kidney failure so we have to be careful any suggestions?.. Got to get Metformin replaced safely without these side effects...
Posted by: ,
I think everyone should try and over the counter blood sugar control with a healthy diet and exercise cause mind make me sleep I drop the dose down to one tablet once a day but it still make me a little sleepy you have to get to know your body I started exercising and a healthy eating plan like a ant-inflomation diet and keep a count of your blood sugar.
Posted by: ,
I'm experiencing "black tongue"... been on metformin for over 20 yrs... but now it's depleting my b12... I eat meats (mostly chicken... beef once in a while... eggs... beans), take a b12 vitamin... nothing helps... need an alternative to metformin.
Posted by: ,
I have given Metformin a try for three months and have suffered form the side effects.
The diarrhea each day, I thought would go away and has not. However, when I learned that it was the cause of my serious neck pain and stiffness along with sleeping issues it is time to find an alternative.
What drug should I try instead of Metformin for my type 2 diabetes? As I have suffered to long.
Posted by: ,
I have been put on Metformin and it really does a number on me. I am very sensitive to medications and when I took my first dose of Metformin I was in bed for over 3 days and so sick I couldn't function. Please any suggestions??
Pamela Shirley
Posted by: ,
I don’t want to be on this drug
Please are there any other options? This Meformin has too many side effects and is wrecking my immune system.
Posted by: ,
My father has been on Metformin for a number of years but has for the last couple of years been suffering from diarrhorea. what alternative tablets can you reccomend that have the same control as metformin.
Posted by: ,
I've been taking metformin for over a year now with the usual gut problems that were compounded by simvastatin.
Just recently I've been having quite a severe dermal reaction as well as pounding headaches. I haven't been given another choice of medication even though I asked for options. Doing my own research seems to give me better knowledge that doesn't seem to be forthcoming for my GP.
Does it come down to cost when being prescribed!?
Posted by: ,
I am researching as my Cocktail of tablets including Metformin need replacing by something where side affects are minimal am going through a bad time at present thanks
Posted by: ,
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.