Diabetes

Doc: Metformin still prescribed for diabetics

Dear Dr. Roach: I have read online and in our local newspaper that doctors are no longer recommending metformin as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Can you please explain why metformin is no longer being prescribed?

P.K.

Dear P.K.: I, too, have seen online ads saying that doctors no longer prescribe metformin, and if you click through enough times, you find that “one weird food” cures diabetes, and that a special diet totally eliminates the need for medication for all diabetics. This is referred to as “clickbait,” and I encourage you not to pay attention to it.

Metformin remains an important medication for many people with Type 2 diabetes, especially if they are overweight. For those people with diabetes who need medication despite an appropriate diet and regular exercise, metformin has been shown to be more beneficial, in terms of preventing diabetic complications and death, than most of the other medication options. It isn’t right for everyone, and people with poor kidney function may not be able to safely take it. Only your doctor, nurse practitioner…