Monday, January 18, 2010

Metformin - safe for patients with advanced heart failure and diabetes mellitus

In continuation of my update on Metformin,   I am sharing herewith  something interesting info,  about the same drug. Now researchers from David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA,  have found that metformin, a drug often used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, is safe for use in treating patients who have both diabetes and advanced heart failure. 

Diabetes increases not only the risk of developing heart failure, but also the risk of death among heart failure patients. This is due in large part to the fact that diabetes, because it increases the amounts of sugar and fat circulating in the bloodstream, accelerates the onset of coronary atherosclerosis. This hardening and thickening of blood vessels is the hallmark of atherosclerotic heart disease, the most common cause of death. The optimal treatment for high glucose and fat blood levels among heart failure patients has not been demonstrated.

The new study involved 401 patients of an average age of 56, with type II diabetes and advanced systolic heart failure. This patient cohort was followed for 14 years in a comprehensive heart failure management program.

The study results suggest that, in patients with both advanced heart failure and diabetes, use of metformin is safe, and may be associated with better heart failure survival.

Interestingly, the diabetes drug metformin previously carried a "black box warning" from the FDA against its use in treating diabetes in heart failure patients and that is why most many physicians have been reluctant to use metformin and other similar medications to treat this patient group. However, analysis by the researchars, shows that using metformin to treat diabetes in patients with advanced, systolic heart failure is not only safe, but may also play a role in improving outcomes compared to conventional diabetes care. As per the claim by Dr Gregg Fonarow, coresearcher,  metformin improves myocardial function via activation of a signaling mechanism (AMP-activated protein kinase) independent of antihyperglycemic effects. Together, these studies suggest that metformin may be cardioprotective by augmenting heart function at the molecular level, and should be further investigated as a treatment for heart failure, irrespective of diabetes....

Ref :

No comments: