New Delhi: A latest funded study on Indian population shows the drug used to overcome diabetic issues can cause serious side effects.
Further it says that the drug triggers deficiency of vitamin B12 leading to neuropathy and microvascular complication. In the absence of regular nutritional diet and supplement, patients with type 2 diabetes can suffer serious side effects.
The long use of frontline blockbuster diabetic drug metformin can lead to side effects including depression and breathlessness.
According to doctors and researchers, Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among Indians, who are mostly vegetarian or do not have animal products as part of their regular diet.
As quoted by Times of India, Dr Atul Gogia, research author and consultant, Internal Medicine at Gana Ram Hospital said, "Intake of metformin further reduces the absorption of Vitamin B12. A prolonged B12 deficiency can cause mental disabilities, slowness, forgetfulness etc".
Besides supplementation by tablets, animal products like fish and meat, and greens and beans are rich in Vitamin B12.
There were 66.8 million cases of diabetes in India in 2014. While metformin is the first drug prescribed to more than 90% of type 2 diabetics, doctors say there are over 500 brands of the drug available in the market in various combinations.
As part of the latest cross-sectional research conducted by New Delhi's Ganga Ram Hospital and Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, 144 adults with type 2 diabetics were assessed for nutritional status and biophysical measurements. The study was funded by Indian Council of Medical Research, a government institution.
The research recommended efficacy trials for B12 supplementation among type 2 diabetic adults.