Optimization of metformin in the GRADE cohort: Effect on glycemia and body weight

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE We evaluated the effect of optimizing metformin dosing on glycemia and body weight in type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This was a prespecified analysis of 6,823 participants in the Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness Study (GRADE) taking metformin as the sole glucose-lowering drug who completed a 4- to 14-week (mean ± SD 7.9 ± 2.4) run-in in which metformin was adjusted to 2,000 mg/day or a maximally tolerated lower dose. Participants had type 2 diabetes for <10 years and an HbA1c ≥6.8% (51 mmol/mol) while taking ≥500 mg of metformin/day. Participants also received diet and exercise counseling. The primary outcome was the change in HbA1c during run-in. RESULTS Adjusted for duration of run-in, the mean ± SD change in HbA1c was -0.65 ± 0.02% (-7.1 ± 0.2 mmol/mol) when the dose was increased by ≥1,000 mg/day, -0.48 ± 0.02% (-5.2 ± 0.2 mmol/mol) when the dose was unchanged, and -0.23 ± 0.07% (-2.5 ± 0.8 mmol/mol) when the dose was decreased (n = 2,169, 3,548, and 192, respectively). Higher HbA1c at entry predicted greater reduction in HbA1c (P < 0.001) in univariate and multivariate analyses. Weight loss adjusted for duration of run-in averaged 0.91 ± 0.05 kg in participants who increased metformin by ≥1,000 mg/day (n = 1,894). CONCLUSIONS Optimizing metformin to 2,000 mg/day or a maximally tolerated lower dose combined with emphasis on medication adherence and lifestyle can improve glycemia in type 2 diabetes and HbA1c values ≥6.8% (51 mmol/mol). These findings may help guide efforts to optimize metformin therapy among persons with type 2 diabetes and suboptimal glycemic control.
  • Published In

  • Diabetes Care  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sivitz WI; Phillips LS; Wexler DJ; Fortmann SP; Camp AW; Tiktin M; Perez M; Craig J; Hollander PA; Cherrington A
  • Start Page

  • 940
  • End Page

  • 947
  • Volume

  • 43
  • Issue

  • 5