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November 7, 2000

Medications: Pills for Diabetes

Question from Hickory, North Carolina, USA:

My 10 year old niece just keeps putting on weight and currently weighs 141 pounds. Recently, an endocrinologist diagnosed her with elevated insulin levels. The doctor prescribed Glucophage. Isn’t that used to treat diabetes?


From: DTeam Staff

Glucophage [metformin] is a medication used to treat type�2 diabetes in adults and in some children. Elevated insulin levels, in overweight 10 year olds, may be an indication of type 2 diabetes, if they are present with elevated blood sugar levels. I suspect that your niece’s physician is concerned that she may indeed have diabetes, and for that reason, started the Glucophage. In any case, I would discuss your concerns with that physician to have your concerns completely addressed.


[Editor’s comment: It’s not clear from the question if the aunt who wrote this letter was writing to us at the request of the parents or not. Maybe it would be best for the aunt to show this reply to the parents, and if the parents have not received sufficient information from the physician as to why the metformin was prescribed, then they should be the ones to inquire of the physician’s logic in using the medication.