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The Utility of Oral Diabetes Medications in Type 2 Diabetes of the Young

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Background: An estimated two-thirds of medications prescribed for use in pediatric patients have not been proven safe or effective for this patient population. Since 1995 a dozen orally administered diabetes medications or combination of medications for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Of these, only one (metformin) is approved for use in pediatrics. As the prevalence of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes continues to rise, the need for adequate information regarding the safety, efficacy, and appropriate dosing of oral diabetes medications in the pediatric population likewise increases.

Objective: The purpose of this paper is to present the data available regarding the use of oral diabetes medications in a pediatric type 2 diabetes population.

Methods: A computerized literature search was performed using Medline and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Results: The Table consists of a summary of data regarding the use of oral antidiabetic agents in pediatric patients. These data include information regarding drug safety and efficacy and/or drug pharmacokinetic and drug dosing information. Conclusions: Data concerning the safety and efficacy of oral diabetes medications to treat type 2 diabetes of the young is limited. Data currently available support the use of metformin as first-line drug therapy. Results of prospective studies over the next three to five years will better define the role of thiazolidinedione use as initial therapy in pediatric type 2 diabetes patients.
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Keywords: efficacy; medications; pediatric; pharmacotherapy; safety; type 2 diabetes

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Department of Pharmacy Practice, Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany, NY 12208, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Current Diabetes Reviews publishes frontier reviews on all the latest advances on diabetes and its related areas e.g. pharmacology, pathogenesis, complications, epidemiology, clinical care, and therapy.

    The journal's aim is to publish the highest quality review articles dedicated to clinical research in the field. The journal is essential reading for all researchers and clinicians who are involved in the field of diabetes.
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