Should Patients Choose Their Own Medication

Several different drugs work to reduce blood sugar, and while overall they are similarly effective, individual patients will vary in terms of how much the drug lowers their blood sugar and the side effects they have. Choosing the right drug for a patient is difficult.

This study is the first to allow people with type 2 diabetes to choose their medication, after trying three different drugs in succession. It concluded the approach could be a new way of finding the best treatment.

Researchers gave people with type 2 diabetes three commonly-prescribed drugs, each for 16 weeks in turn. During the study, researchers monitored the effect of each drug on the 448 patients’ glucose levels, and weight and recorded the side effects.


At the end of the study, patients got to choose the drug that worked best for them. Their chosen drug not only lowered glucose most effectively but also resulted in fewer side effects.

Getting the right diabetes treatment is fundamental to getting the best outcomes and maintaining a good quality of life. This study is the first to invite people with type 2 diabetes to try common drugs in succession, to see which one works best for them.

The results show that going with the patients’ choice results in better glucose control and fewer side effects than any other approach. When it’s not clear which drug is best to use, then patients should try it before they choose. Surprisingly, that approach has never been tried before. The three drugs given to patients in the trial were sitagliptin, canagliflozin, and pioglitazone.

Let’s hope that the study findings might change diabetes treatment in the future.

Source: Eurekalert

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