Study: Metformin may cause vitamin B12 deficiency
NEW YORK A commonly prescribed diabetes drug may cause a vitamin deficiency over time, a new study found.
Dutch scientists, led by Coen Stehouwer of Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, found that prolonged use of metformin to treat diabetes may drive down vitamin B12 levels in diabetic patients.
The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, reviewed 390 patients with Type 2 diabetes. Of the group, 196 of them were administered metformin three times a day for more than four years. The remaining 194 patients were given a placebo. Stehouwer and colleagues found that 19% of the subjects had reduced B12 vitamin levels and progressively worsened over time, compared with the placebo group, which had almost no change.
“Our study shows that it is reasonable to assume harm will eventually occur in some patients with metformin-induced low vitamin B12 levels,” Stehouwer wrote.
In related news, a recent study published late last month found that diabetic nephropathy patients that receive high-dose vitamin B therapy are more likely to have decreased kidney function and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Hisamitsu America kicks off media campaign for Salonpas brand
TORRANCE, Calif. Hisamitsu America on Thursday kicked off its “Join the Pain Free Movement” initiative, a media campaign to promote its line of Salonpas external pain-relief patches.
“The ‘Join the Pain Free Movement’ will entail public relations activities and a comprehensive advertising campaign that will include television, the Internet and print including [periodicals] People, Oprah and Prevention,” stated Joji Nakayama, Hisamitsu America president. “Hisamitsu will also deploy an extensive social media program that will include Facebook, Twitter and a www.jointhepainfreemovement.com Web site.”
Hisamitsu plans to distribute more than 2 million sample patches throughout the campaign.
“Although analgesic patches are well accepted in Japan and the rest of Asia, this is a new concept for the U.S. consumer,” said Nakayama. “We strongly believe that our products have a huge advantage because we’re the only FDA approved over-the-counter patches.” The Hisamitsu executive stated that his company has done extensive clinical trials and the data is available to complement the products’ marketing program.
TuAnalyze puts diabetes on the map
BERKELEY, Calif. A nonprofit organization’s Web site — which connects people touched by diabetes and raises diabetes awareness — and a children’s hospital have developed an app that measures and shares blood glucose levels.
Diabetes Hands Foundation’s TuDiabetes.org and Children’s Hospital Boston have launched TuAnalyze, which supports sharing of diabetes information throughout the community and feedback of community-level diabetes information to users.
How it works: the information submitted by members will be displayed in a map of the United States on the TuDiabetes network, with states lighting up according to the aggregate A1c data. Once a threshold of participants in each state is reached, the state’s color reflects whether the average A1c submitted is within the range recommended by physicians. Users can compare personal measures of diabetes to community measures on the TuAnalyze map.
“Many people are turning to the Internet for information, support, and resources to help manage their disease on a day by day basis,” said principal TuAnalyze investigator Kenneth Mandl, who also serves as a faculty member of the informatics program at Children’s Hospital Boston. “With TuAnalyze we aim to collect and share basic information people provide in a secure, structured way that will be beneficial to the community — so each member can learn more about themselves and their peers — and in a way that may inform public health endeavors and research.”
TuAnalyze was developed with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.