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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Metformin Associated Vitamin B Defficiency

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 7:11 PM Comments

The researchers have found out that metformin a medication for obesity and diabetes may cause vitamin B 12 deficiency.

Keeping Tabs on Vitamin B Advised with Metformin

The association of metformin treatment with vitamin B12 deficiency was confirmed in a long-term trial, suggesting that diabetic patients receiving the popular drug would benefit from vitamin monitoring and perhaps B12 supplementation.

With 4.3 years of treatment in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, the hazard ratio for developing vitamin B12 deficiency while on metformin was 5.5 relative to placebo (95% CI 1.6 to 19.1), reported Coen Stehouwer, MD, of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and colleagues online in BMJ.

"Our study shows that this decrease is not a transitory phenomenon, but persists and grows over time," the researchers wrote.

From a mean of about 355 pmol/L at the end of the run-in phase, B12 levels dropped to about 305 pmol/L after four months, and from there to 280 pmol/L over the next four years.

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