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Doctors No Longer Prescribe Metformin

Forget The Blood Of Teens. This Pill Promises To Extend Life For A Nickel A Pop

Forget The Blood Of Teens. This Pill Promises To Extend Life For A Nickel A Pop

Nir Barzilai has a plan. It’s a really big plan that might one day change medicine and health care as we know it. Its promise: extending our years of healthy, disease-free living by decades. And Barzilai knows about the science of aging. He is, after all, the director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. And, as such, he usually talks about his plan with the caution of a seasoned researcher. Usually. Truth is, Barzilai is known among his colleagues for his excitability—one author says he could pass as the older brother of Austin Powers—and sometimes he can’t help himself. Like the time he referred to his plan—which, among other things, would demonstrate that human aging can be slowed with a cheap pill—as “history-making.” In 2015, he stood outside of the offices of the Food and Drug Administration, flanked by a number of distinguished researchers on aging, and likened the plan to a journey to “the promised land.” Last spring, Barzilai traveled to the Vatican to discuss the plan at a conference on cellular therapies. It was the second time he’d been invited to the conference, which is a pretty big deal in the medical world. At the last one, in 2013, he appeared alongside a dwarf from Ecuador, a member of a community of dwarfs whose near immunity to diabetes and cancer has attracted the keen interest of researchers. The 2016 conference featured a number of the world’s top cancer scientists and included addresses from Pope Francis and Joe Biden. That Barzilai was invited was a sign not only of his prominence in his field but also of how far aging research, once relegated to the periphery of mainstream science, has come in recent years. That progress has been spurred by huge investments from Sil Continue reading >>

Diabetes Medication

Diabetes Medication

There are different types of medications available for diabetes mellitus with each having their own mechanism of action and side effects. The best drug should be chosen by a doctor assessing the condition of the patient – please note all these are prescription medicines and need to be taken properly, under medical-supervision and with correct dosage and at the right timings. You must, at all times, follow instructions from your doctor. Never self-medicate. Basically, anti-diabetic drugs can be categorized into two classes: A. Oral anti-diabetic drugs: This includes the following classes: Insulin secretagogues: sulphonylureas and non-sulphonylureas(Glinides/Meglitinide) Biguanides Thiazolidinediones a-glucosidase inhibitors Di-peptydyl Peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors/gliptins Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors B. Injectable anti-diabetic drugs: Insulin preparations Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) agonists According to A consensus statement of the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, a tier system is used to prescribe medicines depending on how validated (tested) the medication is. The tier is divided into steps depending on the stage of diabetes and how the patient responds to the lifestyle changes and medicines. Tier 1: This includes the best established, most-effective and most cost effective therapeutic strategies to control blood sugar. This is also the most preferred strategy for patients with type 2 diabetes. The tier is divided into 3 steps. Step 1: These are prescribed at when someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Apart from a lifestyle change, a mild medication that is well tested, has low and less severe side-effects and is cheap is prescribed. Step 2: A second medication is added when step 1 Continue reading >>

Proper Use

Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex This medicine usually comes with a patient information insert. Read the information carefully and make sure you understand it before taking this medicine. If you have any questions, ask your doctor. Carefully follow the special meal plan your doctor gave you. This is a very important part of controlling your condition, and is necessary if the medicine is to work properly. Also, exercise regularly and test for sugar in your blood or urine as directed. Metformin should be taken with meals to help reduce stomach or bowel side effects that may occur during the first few weeks of treatment. Swallow the extended-release tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush, break, or chew it. While taking the extended-release tablet, part of the tablet may pass into your stool after your body has absorbed the medicine. This is normal and nothing to worry about. Measure the oral liquid with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid. Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way. You may notice improvement in your blood glucose control in 1 to 2 weeks, but the full effect of blood glucose control may take up to 2 to 3 months. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about this. Dosing The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so. The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the Continue reading >>

The Pros And Cons Of Metformin For Diabetes

The Pros And Cons Of Metformin For Diabetes

Metformin is #7 on the doctors’ hit parade of top 10 prescription drugs. Each year the number of prescriptions increases substantially. Last year there were 87 million metformin prescriptions dispensed in U.S. pharmacies. That does not count combo products that include metformin in their formulation such as Glucovance, Invokamet, Janumet, Kombiglyze XR, Metaglip and Synjardy, to name just a few. Metformin is clearly the #1 drug for diabetes and because the number of people with diabetes keeps going up, prescriptions for metformin are skyrocketing. That’s why readers of our syndicated newspaper column and visitors to this website are so desperate to learn more about metformin for diabetes. How To Know If Metformin for Diabetes Is Right for You: Here is a typical letter from a reader: Q. I crossed the line a month ago from normal blood sugar to type 2 diabetes and was put on metformin. I hate taking drugs. What can you tell me about metformin? Thank the Old Wives: A. Metformin is one of the oldest and most well-studied diabetes medicines. It probably comes as a shock to most prescribers to learn that their favorite diabetes drug is available thanks to the old wives. Practitioners of folk medicine discovered that French lilac (Galega officinalis) helped control the symptoms of a condition associated with “sweet urine.” An article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (Oct. 15, 2001) noted: “In medieval times, a prescription of Galega officinalis was said to relieve the intense urination accompanying the disease that came to have the name of diabetes mellitus [now known as type 2 diabetes].” The botanist and physician Nicholas Culpeper detailed the health benefits of French lilac in 1656. He described the ability of the plant to lower blood sugar and control Continue reading >>

The Drug Virtually Everyone Should Ask Their Doctor About

The Drug Virtually Everyone Should Ask Their Doctor About

With each passing year, fresh scientific evidence emerges to vindicate Life Extension®’s contention that aging humans can derive enormous benefit from an antidiabetic drug called metformin. In 2010 alone, scientists at top-ranked institutions made landmark discoveries that broaden its use to combat degenerative disease. The ability of metformin to help facilitate weight loss has long been known. What few doctors understand are the unique mechanisms by which metformin can prevent and even help treat certain cancers. In a remarkable finding, a team of Swiss researchers found that diabetic women on a long-term metformin regimen (5 years or more) experienced a 56% reduction in breast cancer risk!1 It also slashed pancreatic cancer rates by 62% in diabetics and may cut lung cancer rates in smokers.2,3 In this article, a novel link between impaired glucose control and cancer is detailed. You will discover the growing list of cancers metformin may effectively combat, including those of the colon, uterus, and prostate. You will also learn of a striking connection between the anti-cancer mechanisms of metformin and calorie restriction! Why Metformin Should Be Viewed Differently than Other Drugs Many Life Extension members like to brag that they do not need to take any prescription drugs. Given the lethal side effects posed by so many FDA-approved medications, avoiding them whenever possible makes sense. Metformin is an exception! Its broad-spectrum anti-aging properties make it a drug that most longevity enthusiasts should seriously consider asking their doctors about. Since it long ago came off patent, metformin is a super-low cost generic that everyone can afford. Metformin Was Originally a Botanical Compound Although it is sold as a prescription drug today, metformin has a Continue reading >>

Stop Prescribing Benzodiazepines For Anxiety

Stop Prescribing Benzodiazepines For Anxiety

As a physician in a rural health clinic, I frequently see patients who complain of anxiety. The majority of these patients are in their 20s to 40s. Some have never been evaluated by a mental health professional, and many of these patients take benzodiazepines on a chronic basis. After current review, I wonder if we as primary care physicians are good at treating anxiety, or are we contributing to drug dependency? Benzodiazepine dependency is a growing health concern. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), visits to the emergency department involving benzodiazepines increased 141% between 2004 and 2010. Benzodiazepines were involved in 28.4% of emergency department visits involving pharmaceutical related suicide attempts during that time. The arrest reports in my local newspaper attest to the problem of the illicit sell of benzodiazepine in my area. Most current guidelines recommend SSRIs and SNRIs as first line treatment for generalized anxiety disorder. Buspar and Lyrica have been shown to be effective adjuncts if needed. A number of randomized clinical trials support the use of benzodiazepines, but for short term use only (up to 6 weeks). Importantly, benzodiazepines are ineffective in treating depression, which often exists as a comorbid condition. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also often helpful in treating anxiety. We all know the physical dependency that benzodiazepines cause. The abuse of this drug is also well known. Most of us are familiar with current guidelines concerning their use. Why then, is the problem of benzodiazepine abuse getting worse? One reason is that patients are often insistent on being prescribed benzodiazepines as first-line therapy for treatment. Patients already on taking them are reluctant to try a new medication due to the Continue reading >>

Metformin And Pcos: Everything You Need To Know

Metformin And Pcos: Everything You Need To Know

Metformin is a type of medication used to treat Type 2 Diabetes. Because there is a strong link between diabetes and PCOS, metformin is now commonly proscribed to treat PCOS. But should it be? What is the real relationship between metformin and PCOS? Can Metformin used for PCOS help lessen PCOS symptoms? Metformin used for PCOS: The Science PCOS is an infertility condition that often causes acne, facial hair growth, balding, low sex drive, weight gain, difficulty with weight loss, and mental health disturbances such as depression and anxiety in approximately 15% of women. It is also associated with a myriad of health conditions, spanning from diabetes to hypothyroidism and to heart disease. PCOS is, in short, not a condition to sneeze at. PCOS is a condition of hormone imbalance. With PCOS, male sex hormones such as testosterone and DHEA-S rise relative to the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. (…Roughly speaking – it’s complicated. For a full-blown account of the science of PCOS and how it affects you, see here.) Elevated testosterone is very often the primary culprit in causing PCOS. (But not always! For one of my most thorough accounts of other things that can cause PCOS, see here.) Insulin causes testosterone levels to rise because insulin tells the ovaries to produce testosterone. Basically, elevated insulin causes elevated testosterone, which causes PCOS. This is where metformin comes into play. Metformin lowers blood sugar levels below what they would otherwise be after a meal. This is because it intervenes with the liver’s interaction with and production of glucose. Insulin is the body’s way of dealing with blood sugar. If blood sugar is lower, then insulin will be lower, and thus testosterone will be lower. Metformin decreases blood sugar, Continue reading >>

Metformin Forever

Metformin Forever

**Metformin controls the insulin resistance of people who have type 2 diabetes so well that, if possible, all of us should be taking it. That’s what Roderic Crist, M.D., told me at the annual convention of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians in Denver this weekend. Dr. Crist specializes in family medicine in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. "Not everybody can take every drug," he added, when I followed up our conversation by calling him at his office after he returned home. "But most of the time people can take metformin if they take it carefully." Doctors increasingly prescribe it not only for type 2 diabetes but also for insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Roughly one-third of Dr. Crist’s patients have diabetes. Well over half, if not two-thirds of the people he sees are insulin resistant. "I treat insulin resistance with that drug even if they aren’t fully diabetic." he says. "If they have high triglyceride levels and low HDL levels, particularly if they are centrally obese, they should probably be on metformin. It helps slow the progression of the disease from one thing to the next." But he goes further. He prescribes metformin to almost all of his patients who have type 2 diabetes – no matter how low their A1C level is. And he tells his patients that their levels should be 5.0 or less – not the American Diabetes Association’s less stringent recommendation of 7.0 or less. "If their A1C is at 5, their diabetes is in complete remission. So I have that as a goal." And he still prescribes metformin to them after they reach that goal. "The two important issues are that it will prevent progression and it should be used in the earliest phases of insulin resistance. We vastly underutilize metformin." But he has Continue reading >>

Metformin - Oral, Glucophage

Metformin - Oral, Glucophage

are allergic to dapagliflozin or any of the ingredients in FARXIGA. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include skin rash, raised red patches on your skin (hives), swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking FARXIGA and contact your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away have severe kidney problems or are on dialysis. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working before and during your treatment with FARXIGA Dehydration (the loss of body water and salt), which may cause you to feel dizzy, faint, lightheaded, or weak, especially when you stand up (orthostatic hypotension). You may be at a higher risk of dehydration if you have low blood pressure; take medicines to lower your blood pressure, including water pills (diuretics); are 65 years of age or older; are on a low salt diet, or have kidney problems Ketoacidosis occurred in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes during treatment with FARXIGA. Ketoacidosis is a serious condition which may require hospitalization and may lead to death. Symptoms may include nausea, tiredness, vomiting, trouble breathing, and abdominal pain. If you get any of these symptoms, stop taking FARXIGA and call your healthcare provider right away. If possible, check for ketones in your urine or blood, even if your blood sugar is less than 250 mg/dL Kidney problems. Sudden kidney injury occurred in people taking FARXIGA. Talk to your doctor right away if you reduce the amount you eat or drink, or if you lose liquids; for example, from vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive heat exposure Serious urinary tract infections (UTI), some that lead to hospitalization, occu Continue reading >>

Lifted Restrictions Mean More Diabetics Can Use Metformin!

Lifted Restrictions Mean More Diabetics Can Use Metformin!

Metformin (Glucophage) is first line therapy for diabetes which carries the benefit of helping with weight loss. It’s cheap, does not result in risky low blood sugars (hypoglycemia), has a cheap generic—oh AND it may help you live longer. In a previous blog I told you about the exciting early evidence that metformin may help prevent aging. Well, a recent loosening of restrictions from the FDA means that 40% or 50% of patients with type 2 diabetes who have mild-moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) will now be eligible to take metformin. So, should we all be taking metformin? We aren’t there yet; let’s wait on more aging studies in adults to come out. But in the meantime, which annoying restrictions have been lifted on metformin? Labeling of metformin and metformin-containing drugs (Janumet, Metaglip, Glucovance) will be changed to show that they are safe to use for people with mild to moderate renal (kidney) impairment. This is great because many diabetics have kidney disease and this opens up metformin use for you. Instead of your doctor measuring just a creatinine blood test for your kidney function, your doctor can do tests to estimate your GFR (glomerular filtration rate) which takes into account your age, gender, race and/or weight. Just so you know, this is easily done with a GFR calculator where you enter blood creatinine (Cr) and other factors and get the GFR number back. Now, before starting metformin, your doctor will estimate your GFR instead of your creatinine. The restrictions now: If you have a GFR lower than 30 mL/min, which is severe kidney disease (stage 4 or higher), you should still not use metformin. It’s also not recommended that you start metformin if you have stage 3 chronic kidney disease (GFR 30-45). Your doctor should do a GFR check o Continue reading >>

Metformin. What Do You Need To Know?

Metformin. What Do You Need To Know?

What is type 2 diabetes? People with diabetes are not able to make enough insulin and/or respond normally to the insulin their body does make. When this happens, sugar (glucose) builds up in the blood. This can lead to serious medical problems including kidney damage, amputations and blindness. Diabetes is also closely linked to heart disease. The main goal of treating diabetes is to lower the level of your blood sugar as close to normal as possible. How is type 2 diabetes usually controlled? High blood sugar can be lowered by diet and exercise, by a number of oral medications and by insulin injections. Before taking biguanidas (metformin hydrochloride tablets) you should first try to control your diabetes by exercise and weight loss. Even if you are taking biguanidas, you should still exercise and follow the diet recommended for your diabetes. Does Metformin work differently from other glucose-control medications? Yes it does. Until Metformin was introduced, al¡ the available oral glucose-control medications were from the same chemical group called sulfonylureas. These drugs lower blood sugar primarily by causing more of the body's own insulin to be released. Metformin lowers the amount of sugar in your blood by helping your body respond better to its own insulin. Metformin (metformin hydrochloride tablets) does not cause your body to produce more insulin. Therefore, Metformin rarely causes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and it doesn't usually cause weight gain. What happens if my blood sugar is still too high? When blood sugar cannot be lowered enough by either Metformin or a sulfonylurea, the two medications may be effective taken together. However, if you are unable to maintain your blood sugar with diet, exercise and glucose-control medication taken orally, then y Continue reading >>

Stopping Metformin: When Is It Ok?

Stopping Metformin: When Is It Ok?

The most common medication worldwide for treating diabetes is metformin (Glumetza, Riomet, Glucophage, Fortamet). It can help control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s available in tablet form or a clear liquid you take by mouth before meals. Metformin doesn’t treat the underlying cause of diabetes. It treats the symptoms of diabetes by lowering blood sugar. It also increases the use of glucose in peripheral muscles and the liver. Metformin also helps with other things in addition to improving blood sugar. These include: lowering lipids, resulting in a decrease in blood triglyceride levels decreasing “bad” cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) increasing “good” cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) If you’re taking metformin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to stop. Instead, you may be able to manage your condition by making certain lifestyle changes, like losing weight and getting more exercise. Read on to learn more about metformin and whether or not it’s possible to stop taking it. However, before you stop taking metformin consult your doctor to ensure this is the right step to take in managing your diabetes. Before you start taking metformin, your doctor will want to discuss your medical history. You won’t be able to take this medication if you have a history of any of the following: alcohol abuse liver disease kidney issues certain heart problems If you are currently taking metformin, you may have encountered some side effects. If you’ve just started treatment with this drug, it’s important to know some of the side effects you may encounter. Most common side effects The most common side effects are digestive issues and may include: diarrhea vomiting nausea heartburn abdominal cramps Continue reading >>

People With Pre-diabetes Who Drop Substantial Weight May Ward Off Type 2 Diabetes

People With Pre-diabetes Who Drop Substantial Weight May Ward Off Type 2 Diabetes

People with pre-diabetes who lose roughly 10 percent of their body weight within six months of diagnosis dramatically reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next three years, according to results of research led by Johns Hopkins scientists. The findings, investigators say, offer patients and physicians a guide to how short-term behavior change may affect long-term health. “We have known for some time that the greater the weight loss, the lower your risk of diabetes,” says study leader Nisa Maruthur, M.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Now we understand that we can see much of the benefit of losing that weight in those first six months when people are adjusting to a new way to eating and exercising. Substantial weight loss in the short term clearly should go a long way toward preventing diabetes.” Preventing pre-diabetes from becoming full-blown diabetes is critical, Maruthur says. Uncontrolled diabetes — marked by excess sugar in the blood — can lead to eye, kidney and nerve damage, as well as cardiovascular disease. The new research suggests that if people with pre-diabetes don’t lose enough weight in those first months, physicians may want to consider more aggressive treatment, such as adding a medication to push blood sugar levels lower. A report on the research is published online today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Maruthur and her colleagues based their conclusions on analysis of data from the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), the largest diabetes prevention study in the United States. Overweight, hyperglycemic people were recruited between 1996 and 1999 and followed for an average of 3.2 years. More than 3,000 particip Continue reading >>

Fda Drug Safety Communication: Fda Revises Warnings Regarding Use Of The Diabetes Medicine Metformin In Certain Patients With Reduced Kidney Function

Fda Drug Safety Communication: Fda Revises Warnings Regarding Use Of The Diabetes Medicine Metformin In Certain Patients With Reduced Kidney Function

[ 4-8-2016 ] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring labeling changes regarding the recommendations for metformin-containing medicines for diabetes to expand metformin’s use in certain patients with reduced kidney function. The current labeling strongly recommends against use of metformin in some patients whose kidneys do not work normally. We were asked1,2 to review numerous medical studies regarding the safety of metformin use in patients with mild to moderate impairment in kidney function,3-14 and to change the measure of kidney function in the metformin drug labeling that is used to determine whether a patient can receive metformin. We have concluded our review, and are requiring changes to the labeling of all metformin-containing medicines to reflect this new information. Health care professionals should follow the latest recommendations when prescribing metformin-containing medicines to patients with impaired kidney function. Patients should talk to their health care professionals if they have any questions or concerns about taking metformin. Metformin-containing medicines are available by prescription only and are used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. When untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious problems, including blindness, nerve and kidney damage, and heart disease. Metformin-containing medicines are available as single-ingredient products and also in combination with other drugs used to treat diabetes (see FDA Approved metformin-containing Medicines). The current drug labeling strongly recommends against metformin use in some patients whose kidneys do not work normally because use of metformin in these patients can increase the risk of developing a serious and potentially dead Continue reading >>

Why Doctors In The Know No Longer Prescribe Metformin - Health Journal

Why Doctors In The Know No Longer Prescribe Metformin - Health Journal

Urgent news about Metformin #1 Lie About Diabetes Meds Metformin Side Effects Until recently, diabetics looking for doctor-approved, drug-free treatment options were out of luck. Type II Diabetes sufferers may soon be tossing their test strips, lancet needles, and prescription pills. But a growing number of health experts believe those days are behind us. A discovery by an Austin-based doctor may change how Type II Diabetes is treated and could even be a cure. Dr. Marlene Merritt suffered from high blood sugar for years and was determined to find a natural solution. My motivation, she says, was to cast off the shackles of the daily monitoring, the shots and pills, and the drug side effects. I wanted to live a normal life again. After two years of research and trial and error experiments, Dr. Marlene Merritt hit upon a practical diet and exercise regimen that doesnt just control Type II Diabetes but actually reverses it. While the regimen eliminates a few foods, it most importantly adds a single food that has shown to have a big impact on the disease. The announcement of her discovery has sent shockwaves through the medical community, with some progressive doctors enthusiastically embracing it, and many conventional doctors taking a wait and see approach. Within weeks of adopting her own regimen, Dr. Merritts condition completely reversed. It was just gone, and I had my life back, she says. I then prescribed this drug-free solution to my diabetic patients and, in most cases, they too saw success in a matter of weeks. Dr. Marlene Merritt (LAc, DOM(NM), MS Nutrition), an Austin-based doctor who used to suffer high blood sugar herself, made a recent announcement that is sending shockwaves through the medical community. Dr. Merritt knew all too well that commonly-prescribed Continue reading >>

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