Sex, BMI Can Help Clinicians Choose Diabetes Med With Fewest Side Effects

Taking into account a person’s sex and BMI (body mass index) can help health care providers not only provide the diabetes medications most likely to be most effective, but can also minimize side effects.

While patients with type 2 diabetes are usually given metformin to start, many of them do not see their blood sugar controlled effectively on that medication, and are given another drug on top of it. However, doctors have had to decide what that other drug should be based on limited guidance.

Researchers in the UK looked at data from more than 29,000 patients who had either taken part in a trial or were treated by a general practitioner. They found that overweight women were much more likely to achieve blood sugar control on thiazolidinediones, another class of drugs used in diabetes, compared to sulfonylureas. However, non-obese men were found to find success in blood sugar control taking sulfonylureas rather than thiazolidinediones. Results were reported in the journal Diabetes Care.

The researchers also noted that by matching patients with the diabetes drug most likely to work for them, they are less likely to experience potentially harmful side effects, such as low blood sugar and weight gain.

“Now, we can create clear guidelines to enable much more informed conversations about what these treatments will mean for people, in order to get better health outcomes and avoid harmful side effects,” Prof. Andrew Hattersley, a diabetes consultant at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and a co-author of the study, said in a statement.


Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block is an associate editor at BioCentury, which provides news and information about the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining BioCentury in 2019, Jonathan worked for MedShadow as content editor. He has been an editor and writer for multiple pharmaceutical, health and medical publications, including The Pink Sheet, Modern Healthcare, Health Plan Week and Psychiatry Advisor. He holds a BA from Tufts University and is earning an MPH with a focus on health policy from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.


Did you find this article helpful?


Latest News

Belviq, ActiPatch, Free Samples, Dollar Tree Drugs

Belviq, ActiPatch, Free Samples, Dollar Tree Drugs

We knew it was too good to be true – free and cheap drugs aren’t worth it. Also, taking a magic pill to lose weight could give you cancer (!). One ray of sunshine: a pain therapy device using shortwave is now available over-the-counter. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day! Be…

Flouride, PPIs, Breast Density and Prostate Cancer

Flouride, PPIs, Breast Density and Prostate Cancer

Startling news about fluoride, a study encourages more limites use of PPIs, does knowing the density of your breasts matter, and vegetables aren’t helpful in warding off prostate cancer (darn).  Be Well.  Fluoride and Pregnancy The medical community was shocked at the conclusions of two new studies on fluoride’s effect…

  • Advertisement