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Metformin is an inexpensive, generic drug that helps patients prevent dangerously high blood sugar levels. It will work nearly twice as long, for the people who are taking it within three months of their diabetes diagnosis. To gain the full benefit from metformin, patients should start taking it as soon as they find out they have diabetes. Starting the drug early preserves the body's own ability to control blood sugar, which in turn prevents the long-term complications of diabetes like heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness.
Metformin is recommended as a first-line agent in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but in most patients it eventually stops working, forcing them to take additional medications to control their blood sugar. Each additional drug adds extra costs and the possibility of more side effects including weight gain. So this study becomes a welcome news for newly diagnosed patients.
This study, named 'The Kaiser Permanente' study, is the first to compare failure rates of metformin in real-world setting. This study has appeared in the March issue of Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.