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Metformin/rosiglitazine therapy stops diabetes

By Mark Pownall

A low dose combination of metformin and rosiglitazone can prevent impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) progressing into type 2 diabetes say researchers.

A study found that 14 (14%) of 103 people with IGT taking the combination developed diabetes compared with 41 (39%) of 104 controls taking placebo over a median follow up period of 3.9 years, a relative risk reduction of 66%. Diabetes was determined by two fasting plasma glucose tests or a single oral glucose tolerance test.

The study also found that the combination treatment normalised glucose tolerance compared to placebo.

Rosiglitazone is associated with significantly increased risks of congestive heart failure and weight gain, while metformin is associated with GI side effects. But the study only found diarrhoea as a significant side effect compared to placebo.

Study lead Professor Bernard Zinman, director of the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes in Ontario, said: ‘The combination of rosiglitazone and metformin at half the maximum dose was highly effective in the prevention of diabetes with little effect on the well known clinically relevant adverse events of these two drugs.'

The Lancet, online June 3

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