So what did this large scale analysis find?
It turns out that Metformin, a 70+ year old medication that’s available generically, is as effective at lowering blood sugar as any of the newer, more expensive brand name medications. The researchers and other doctors who interpreted the study, say that Metformin should remain the first-line agent in treating high blood sugar and Type II diabetes.
Most of the studies the researchers reviewed were relatively short in duration, usually 18 months or less. So it was not possible to draw conclusions on whether any of the medications prolong life or reduce the incidence of complications often associated with diabetes.
Two newer drugs – Victoza and Jardiance – have shown some promise in recent studies that they can lower the incidence of heart disease and strokes in diabetes patients, but these were not included in the analysis because they were too new.
So the bottom line is that Metformin is as good or better than almost all the newer diabetes medications on the market and that doctors should continue to prefer Metformin for their diabetes patients. The researchers and doctors that participated in the analysis also stress that lifestyle and diet changes can have at least as big an impact on the progression of Type II diabetes as any medication.