medwireNews: An open-label randomized study suggests that the extended-release form of metformin does not reduce rates of gastrointestinal side effects in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Researcher Linong Ji (Peking University People’s Hospital, Beijing, China) and team believed that the slow release, resulting in a lower peak exposure of intestinal tissue to metformin compared with the standard immediate-release form, might reduce side effects.
However, gastrointestinal adverse event rates among treatment-naïve patients given the immediate-release (n=267) and extended-release (n=265) forms were 23.8% and 22.3%, respectively. Specifically, a corresponding 12.4% and 9.8% of patients developed diarrhea, 6.0% and 6.1% had abdominal distension, and 5.2% and 3.8% reported nausea.
But extended-release metformin was as effective as the standard version in terms of the proportion of patients who met glycemic control targets at week 16, and the researchers note that compliance with the extended-release version was high, leading them to suggest that it “may be a practical alternative to thrice-daily dosing.”
The findings are published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.
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