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THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) — A class of drugs still taken by millions of people with type 2 diabetes is associated with a higher risk of dying and heart failure than the newer treatment metformin, researchers say.
Sulfonylureas, long a mainstay of diabetes treatment, performed less well than metformin in a study of oral anti-diabetes drugs, but doctors said the findings aren’t necessarily a reason to discontinue taking them. Glyburide, glipizide and glimepiride are examples of sulfonylureas.
Metformin, which is sold as Glucophage and other brand names, is already the first-choice therapy for type 2 diabetes, and the findings are in line with new American Diabetes Association recommendations, meaning the results won’t change the way patients are already treated.
“This raises some interesting points for other, more specific research, but it won’t affect the way we practice medicine tomorrow,” said Dr. Robert Scott III, assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and senior staff cardiologist with Scott & White, Temple, Texas. “Certain diabetes medications may be a little bit more heart friendly than some of the older diabetes medications, but the bottom line is, we can’t draw firm conclusions from this.” Read more