A comprehensive study by the GRADE Study Research Group has provided valuable insight into the effectiveness of four widely used diabetes medications in combination with metformin, a primary drug for type 2 diabetes.
The aim of the study was to find out which medication is best at keeping blood sugar levels within the recommended range.
Study overview and results
The study involved 5,047 people with type 2 diabetes from diverse backgrounds. All participants initially took metformin and were randomly assigned to one of four groups, each receiving an additional diabetes medication: sitagliptin, liraglutide, glimepiride or insulin glargine U-100.
Over an average follow-up period of four years, researchers found that liraglutide and insulin glargine in combination with metformin were more effective in achieving and maintaining target blood sugar levels compared to sitagliptin and glimepiride.
The effectiveness of these treatments appeared to be consistent across different age groups, genders, races and ethnicities.
Despite these results, maintaining target blood sugar levels long-term proved difficult, with about three-quarters of participants unable to maintain desired levels for four years. This highlights the complexity of long-term diabetes management.
Implications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes
The study highlights the relative effectiveness of liraglutide and insulin glargine together with metformin in controlling blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients.
The difficulty of maintaining target glucose levels for extended periods highlights the need for continued research and development of more effective diabetes management strategies.
An interesting side finding found that participants taking liraglutide had fewer cases of diabetes-related cardiovascular disease compared to other groups, suggesting a possible additional benefit of this drug.
This study provides valuable insights into the comparative effectiveness of different diabetes medications in combination with metformin.
While liraglutide and insulin glargine demonstrated better performance in maintaining blood glucose levels, the challenge of long-term treatment remains.
These insights can help healthcare professionals make more informed decisions about diabetes treatment plans, taking into account patients’ individual needs and health profiles.
Further research is essential to find more effective long-term solutions for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Those from Dr. Study led by Henry Burch was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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