The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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1493
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In Brief: New Recommendations for Use of Metformin in Renal Impairment

The FDA has required labeling changes that replace serum creatinine (SCr) with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) as the parameter used to determine the appropriateness of treatment with the biguanide metformin (Glucophage, and others) in patients with renal impairment. These changes will allow more patients with mild to moderate renal impairment to receive metformin, which is generally the first drug prescribed for treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Metformin was previously contraindicated in women with a SCr level ≥1.4 mg/dL and in men with a SCr level ≥1.5 mg/dL, but use of SCr as a surrogate indicator tends to underestimate renal function in certain populations (e.g., younger patients, men, black patients, patients with greater muscle mass). The calculation of eGFR takes into account age, race, and sex, as well as SCr level, providing a more accurate assessment of kidney function. A literature review summarized in an FDA ... more      

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