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Diabetes medication given 'too soon'

9th March 2009

A new study has said over one third of people with type 2 diabetes are prescribed medicine too quickly, as opposed to being urged by their doctor to be more active and eat healthily.

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The research involved 650 people in south west England and found that 36% were given pills within one month of their diagnosis.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said medicine was given to diabetics in order to help them "manage their condition".

In the UK, over 400 people are given a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes every day and the most commonly prescribed medication is metformin.

The study found that 13% of participants were prescribed two separate varieties of medication within the first month of their diagnosis.

Study author Dr Rob Andrew, a senior lecturer at the University of Bristol, said: "There is quite clear guidance that says when you're first diagnosed, you should have the opportunity to concentrate on lifestyle then if that doesn't work the next stage is metformin."

He said that financial incentives directed at encouraging GPs to cut blood glucose levels in diabetic patients and a lack of NHS services were likely to contribute to the problem.

The Department of Health spokeswoman said NICE guidelines recommended that diabetic patients should "be encouraged to make lifestyle changes".

 

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Comments

Anonymous

Monday 30th March 2009 @ 17:29

It is recommended by some research studies that Metformin is beneficial to the patient with Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT is considered to be a stage in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease). So early treatment of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics with Metformin is to prevent further complications and to reduce the cardiovascular risk factor.


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