The Unauthorized Biography

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A month’s supply costs you about the same as a Starbucks latte. It’s one of the oldest drugs in active clinical use today, and it’s now the first-line drug for almost everyone with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes on the planet. Most of the millions of people who take it don’t give it a second thought, but humble metformin may well be the closest thing we have to a miracle drug.

Consider the following: Other than insulin, metformin packs probably the biggest blood-glucose-lowering punch of any diabetes drug on the market, lowering HbA1c levels (a measure of blood glucose control) by up to 1.5%. It protects your heart, and it might even hold some cancers at bay. It gets along well with a wide variety of other drugs and treatments, and by most measures, it’s safer than most other prescription drugs. Impressively, it’s risen from the ranks of a “me-too” drug (a drug that’s very similar to an existing drug) to the very pinnacle of diabetes treatment worldwide.

What do you know about this unsung hero among diabetes drugs? Check out this “biography” of metformin to learn everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid — or didn’t even know — to ask.

Click on page 2, below, to learn about the birth of metformin.

Originally Published June 4, 2013

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