Sulfonylureas Up Mortality Risk in Diabetes

By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today Published: June 24, 2012.

Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

HOUSTON — Diabetic patients treated with three commonly prescribed sulfonylurea drugs had a 50% higher mortality risk compared with patients treated with metformin, data from a large retrospective cohort study suggested.

The relative risk ranged from 59% with glyburide to 68% with glimepiride. In the subgroup of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), glipizide and glyburide had significant associations with mortality versus metformin but not glimepiride.

“Metformin, when not contraindicated, should be the first-line agent prescribed to control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes,” Kevin Pantalone, DO, of Summa Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, said at a press briefing during ENDO 2012. Read More