An article in the journalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism reports that 30% of diabetic patients who are prescribed metformin do not take the medication because of its side effects.
Researchers from the University of Surrey set out to see how likely patients were to take their medication by analyzing database information about 1.6 million people with type 2 diabetes. Data was collected from clinical trials and observational studies that looked at adherence rates for both tablet and injectable medications.
The study indicated that 30% of diabetic patients were not taking their prescribed metformin, while 23% weren’t taking sulfonylureas.
The research team attributed the falloff in compliance to the side effects that are associated with metformin, the most commonly prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes. Metformin commonly causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and flatulence.