Prescribing pattern and efficacy of anti-diabetic drugs in maintaining optimal glycemic levels in diabetic patients

Author(s): Akshay A Agarwal, Pradeep R Jadhav, Yeshwant A Deshmukh

Context: Despite the availability of efficacious anti‑diabetic drugs, which act by different mechanisms to reduce the blood‑glucose, the majority of people with diabetes on anti‑diabetic drug therapy, have poor glycemic control and diabetic vascular complications. Aim and Objectives: The aim was to study the prescribing pattern and efficacy of anti‑diabetic drugs in maintaining optimal glycemic levels in diabetic patients attending tertiary care teaching hospital in Navi Mumbai. Materials and Methods: A prospective, cross‑sectional, observational survey was carried out in 100 patients of diabetes mellitus attending diabetes outpatient/medicine outpatient departments, to assess their prescribing pattern of anti‑diabetic drugs, and their blood‑glucose level was measured by Accu‑Chek Active glucometer to determine their glycemic control. Results: Average number of anti‑diabetic drugs per prescription was 1.4. Sulfonylureas were the most commonly prescribed class, but metformin (biguanide) was the commonest prescribed individual drug among oral hypoglycemic agents (OHA). Fixed dose combination of biguanide and sulfonylurea was prescribed commonly. Monotherapy dominated over polytherapy and there was a higher percentage of use of insulin in Type 2 diabetics. Only 41% of patients on anti‑diabetic therapy had optimal glycemic control. The association between anti‑diabetic therapy along with lifestyle modification and glycemic control was statistically significant (P = 0.0011). Conclusions: OHAs still dominate the prescribing pattern, but there was a shifting trend toward the use of insulin preparations in the management of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In achieving optimal glycemic control, the efficacy of the anti‑diabetic drugs was only 41%; therefore intensification of current drug treatment as well as planning multiple drug interventions with lifestyle modification is necessary.

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