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DIABETES DRUG AND VITAMIN B

ANCHOR LEAD:  DOES THE MOST POPULAR ORAL MEDICATION FOR DIABETES COMPROMISE VITAMIN B?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Metformin is the generic name for the oral medication of choice for people whose type 2 diabetes doesn’t respond completely to changes in diet, exercise and weight loss.  It’s been around for many years and has a long track record, but now a study reported at the American Diabetes Association meeting found it may compromise vitamin B12 levels in a sizeable number of patients.  Redonda Miller an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

MILLER:  It is our first line therapy.  Almost all of my type 2 diabetics are on it, it’s an excellent drug , it results in weight loss rather than weight gain, it’s very safe and it’s in a once a day formulation now, so it’s an easy drug to give to our patients, but this is going to change my practice.  My patients who are on it for a long time, meaning three or more years, I probably will start checking vitamin B12 levels intermittently.      :25

Miller says she would try vitamin supplements first before switching diabetes drugs.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

 


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