Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

SMC reject Glucophage SR

The Scottish Medicines Consortium has rejected Sustained Release Metformin (Glucophage SR)® for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.

This drug was covered in Prescribing Bulletin 1 where it was recommended that clinicians continue to use the Immediate Release (IR) version of metformin where it is indicated.

Glucophage SR is claimed to have fewer gastrointestinal side effects. This claim is based upon data from observational studies. No differences in gastrointestinal side effects were noted in randomised clinical trials (RCT). RCTs are recognised occupying a higher level than observational studies in the hierarchy of evidence.

Action: Clinicians should continue to us IR Metformin as first line in the treatment of patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

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