Glucophage, the nation’s most popular medication for treating Type 2 diabetes has just been improved. Bristol-Myers Squibb which produces the original Glucophage recently released a once-a -day version, Glucophage XR (eXtended Release). For many current users of Glucophage who take the original medication at each meal, the availability of the long acting preparation will make taking their medication much easier.
The benefits of Glucophage XR don’t end with the added convenience. Initial reports from practitioners suggest the slower release of long acting Glucophage XR, helps reduce stomach upset that sometimes occurs with the original Glucophage.
In my own practice treating diabetics using the original Glucophage a problem I have run into is a tendency for blood sugars to be elevated first thing in the morning. A possible explanation is that the short action of Glucophage leaves the blood sugar untreated for part of the time between doses. If the last dose of the day is taken at 6 p.m or so, then blood sugar can be expected to rise from about 2 a.m. until the dose taken at breakfast kicks in. For many diabetics those hours of untreated blood sugar can spell trouble. With Glucophage XR the 24 hour profile can be expected to help eliminate this problem.
Finally, we are all accustomed to paying higher prices for new and improved products. Thanks to Bristol-Myers Squibb this pattern is being broken for Glucophage XR which should cost noticeably less than its predecessor. Cost comparison in my area shows that Glucophage XR can be purchased for 15 to 20% less than original Glucophage.
Traditional benefits of Glucophage including a tendency to induce weight loss, absence of hypoglycemia, use as a solo medication (monotherapy) and ability to combine safely and effectively with other diabetes medications are all preserved with Glucophage XR.
To promote the launch of Glucophage XR Bristol-Myers Squibb has set up a web site at http://www.glucophagexr.com. For qualified individuals with a prescription a free months supply of medication will be available on-line. This promotion ends in April.
As always, consult with your health care provider prior to using any prescription drug including Glucophage XR.