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Integrated Diabetes Services

Noninsulin medication use in type 1 diabetes


Use of insulin as the main therapy for type 1 diabetes is a no brainer – it is what is needed since the pancreatic beta cells aren’t making it.

However, use of other noninsulin medications such as metformin, GLP-1 receptor agonists, DPP-IV inhibitors, SGLT2 inhibitors and other noninsulin diabetes medications isn’t as common. While these medications were not developed specifically for type 1 diabetes, they could in fact play an important role in management. These medications are meant to assist with factors such as improved glycemic control, reduced insulin doses, promotion of weight loss and suppression of post meal glucose secretion – all people with diabetes can benefit from medications that help with each of these factors. 

However, according to a registry study that evaluated data from T1D Exchange (T1DX) registry in the US and the Prospective Diabetes Follow-up (DVP) registry in Germany and Austria, these medications are being used <5% of the time by those with type 1 diabetes.  And of all the medications available, the one most commonly used was metformin. This registry study also found that for the US patients there was a slightly lower A1C for those using these agents along with insulin compared to those on insulin therapy alone.

If you feel you have been struggling with diabetes management, have seen insulin needs and weight go up and seem to be unable to manage what happens in the aftermath of meals, give us a call at Integrated Diabetes Services.  We are happy to work with you for improved diabetes management, and will assist with defining whether or not an additional noninsulin medication may be in your best interest for improved management.  To schedule a visit give us a call at 610-642-6055. We look forward to working with you!

For further data and stats on the registry study see here: https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/diabetes/news/in-the-journals/%7B68662275-1fdd-4d0b-819b-b2bef6ff7c93%7D/5-of-us-patients-with-type-1-diabetes-use-adjuvant-noninsulin-agents

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