Clinical Edge Journal Scan

Metformin ups gastrointestinal adverse event risk in T2D


Key clinical point: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) receiving metformin vs other antidiabetic drugs or placebo had a higher risk for gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events (AE) such as abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea, with the risk for bloating and diarrhea being higher with metformin immediate release (IR) vs extended release (XR) .

Major finding: Patients treated with metformin vs. placebo or any other antidiabetic drug were at a significantly higher risk for abdominal pain (risk ratio [RR] 1.491; P = .0001), diarrhea (RR 2.445; P = .0001), and nausea (RR 1.641; P = .0004). The risks for bloating (coefficient 0.89; P = .76) and diarrhea (coefficient 0.344; P = . 0437) were higher with metformin IR vs XR.

Study details: The data come from a meta-analysis of 71 randomized controlled trials including 55,042 patients with T2D who were randomly assigned to receive metformin or comparators.

Disclosures: This study received no specific funding. The authors declared no conflicts of interest.

Source: Nabrdalik K et al. Gastrointestinal adverse events of metformin treatment in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022;13:975912 (Sep 14). Doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.975912

Recommended Reading