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Many people have developed type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (the kind that does not usually need insulin). The best treatment for it is weight loss through diet and exercise. The mainstays of drug treatment over the past decade or so have been Metformin to improve insulin efficiency in the body, and one form or another of sulfonylurea medications that increase insulin output by the pancreas. These treatments are variable in their success, though the variability is largely due to dietary indiscretion and inadequate exercise.

A few new types of medications have come along, and all successfully reduce blood sugars. Two of the new classes seem to prevent cardiac events that are so common in diabetes, although the true extent of the benefit to risk rations has not been fully elucidated.

The problem with these new medications is that they have only been on the market for a few years, so lots of unknowns still exist. A new warning from the FDA emphasizes one of those that has been recently uncovered by its post marketing surveys (what I like to call the phase 5 safety trial).

I cannot emphasize enough how significant this risk is. Although not common, the severity is so high that no one should take the medication unless they absolutely need to, and all the alternatives have been considered.

This new warning about a very heavily promoted medication that seems great but has only marginal benefit over older medications while carrying significant risks and unknowns serves as another reminder that it is critical to take charge of your own care by collaborating with your doctor on important medical decisions.

We can help you collaborate better. Contact us for a free consultation.