December 17, 2013
Study Analyzes Diabetes Drug Metformin As Obesity Treatment For Children
Treatment with the diabetes drug metformin appears to be associated with a modest reduction in body mass index (BMI) in obese children when combined with lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise, according to a study by Marian S. McDonagh, Pharm. D., of the Oregon Health & Science University, and colleagues.
Childhood obesity is a health problem in the United States, with nearly 17 percent of children being obese. Metformin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat type 2 diabetes in adults and children over 10 years old, but it has been used off-label in recent years to treat childhood obesity.
The results indicated that while metformin helped obese children reduce their BMI (a reduction of -1.38 from baseline) and weight compared with lifestyle interventions alone, the change was small compared to what is needed for long-term health benefits. Researchers noted no serious adverse events were reported.
"While our results indicate that some obese children and adolescents may benefit from short-term treatment with metformin combined with lifestyle interventions, these benefits were very modest, not achieving a 5 percent reduction in BMI," the study concludes.
On the Net: