Metformin and Cancer


The news about Metformin as a possible ally in the fight against cancer has finally taken wings.   (This was first reported in the literature several years ago.)

 As we’ve spoken about in the past – these discoveries about the ‘side benefits’ of this powerful oral anti-glycemic are finally getting some well-deserved press.  As a drug that’s often been shunted aside despite it’s low cost, and impressive safety profile for the more pricey and flashy (but less clinically-proven) alternatives (Yes, Byetta, I am talking about you) this could serve as a boon to consumers..

The other thing we should take from this research is that it remains critical to aggressively control diabetes – for more than just the usual cardiovascular risks but to reduce the risk of our patients developing cancer.  While insulin is a godsend to patients with uncontrolled glucose – metformin should remain on the menu even after the initiation of insulin therapies.  Too often, metformin falls off the roster.  We also need to impress upon our patients to potent nature of this innoculous sounding medication.  Frequently patients inform me that they have abandoned metformin for various reasons in favor of the more pricey, and heavily advertised medications.  Unfortunately, they are really just short-changing themselves: both their wallets and their health.

Coming soon – more about the ‘magic bullet’ of Aspirin – as both a cancer-fighter and an essential element for cardiovascular health.

Unleash Metformin: Reconsideration of the Contraindication in Patients with Renal Impairment – Wenya R. Lu, PharmD.

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