Pill, Bottle, Prescription A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine measured the effectiveness of several oral medications for people with type 2 diabetes, with one reigning supreme. It was surmised that people prescribed metformin were less likely to have their treatment intensified with a second oral medication.

This is one of the reasons the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American College of Physicians (ACP), as well as other high-profile organizations has recommended metformin as the initial medication for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Metformin as well as the oral medications: sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and dipeptidyl pepidase 4 inhibitors were used in this experiment, the four leading medications for people with type 2 diabetes.  Out of these four medications, metformin showed the lowest percentage (24.5 percent) of patients needing a more intense medication regiment.

"Despite guidelines, only 57.8 percent of individuals began diabetes treatment with metformin. Beginning treatment with metformin was associated with reduced subsequent treatment intensification, without differences in rates of hypoglycemia or other adverse clinical events. These findings have significant implications for quality of life and medication costs," the study concludes.

Source: The JAMA Network Journals