Metformin and Developing Resistence to Treatment
One of the problems with taking Metformin is the high likelihood that it was fail, or stop being effective. As odd as it sounds, many people find that over time the effectiveness of this drug wanes. This problem is called secondary failure. By definition, it means that the human body is likely, over time, drop a new, lower level of function related to diabetes. With this change in baseline status of the disease, Metformin ceases to be a reasonable solution.
The problem of secondary failure as connected to Metformin has been known since the early clinical trials. Researchers discovered and documented this fact. New studies are now shedding more light on the relationship between the drug and people no longer getting results from Metformin. Statistics are expected to trend a little differently between clinical trials and use of a drug in the real world. Even so, the secondary failure rate seems to be higher than anticipated outside of the trials.
Figuring out how drugs perform in the real world is challenging. People tend to be less compliant with taking medications outside of studies. Collecting useful data is also more challenging. Fortunately, an option was found. One benefit to the large HMOs that exist in places like the United States these days, large groups of data can be accessed.
Using meta-analysis researchers looked into the disturbing trend of secondary failure for diabetes patients taking Metformin. Meta-analysis is a technique reviewing larger groups of data that are collected for a purpose other than the specific study. In some areas the incidence of diabetes is as high as 30 percent of the population. During the review the medical histories of 1,799 individuals were studied. The failure rate revealed was startlingly: an amazing 42% occurrence of secondary failure.
Thanks to further investigation of the medical records involved, some reasons were found for this very high rate. The percentage dropped if the patients were diagnosed early and promptly put on Metformin as part of the treatment plan. Based on that scenario, the rate at which patients experienced secondary failure was twelve percent. On the other than for those patients who were not diagnosed until the disease was established the bad held true. Even taking Metformin at this stage didn’t resolve the failure rate: for these patients it continued to be 45%.
Discover the condition of diabetes early is obviously important. Regardless, when long-term results were reviewed, eventually the secondary failure rate settled at about 4%. One of the things to keep in mind is that secondary failure is typical for the long-term disease pattern of diabetes. This will happen with other medications as well. While we have made great strides in slowing the tide of this illness, a cure still remains beyond our understanding and science.