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August 12, 2008

Insulin, Pills for Diabetes

Question from Houston, Texas, USA:

I have had diabetes 24 years and have been using an insulin pump for 14 years. I have decent control (A1c between 6.3 and 7 this year), but I do have hypoglycemia unawareness. I have heard that metformin is an option for type 1 diabetics because it helps insulin work properly in the body. Is it possible that if I use metformin, I might lower the amount of insulin I use? I thought this might help me prevent hypoglycemia.

Answer:

Metformin is not really a choice in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Very small levels of improvement have been seen with its addition to insulin (less than 0.5%). You may see improvement with the addition of Symlin, an injectable medicine given with meals. There may also be some improvement in weight loss with this. Be sure to work closely with your diabetes team if you take this.

JTL