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Why Are Physicians Still Prescribing Sulfonylureas as First Choice for Older Diabetic Adults?

Dr.Michael Gordon Michael Gordon, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Medical Program Director, Palliative Care, Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System, Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Diabetes Mellitus is very prevalent in the older population. It is one of the important causes of vascular problems which may play a role in the development of dementia, especially of the mixed variety. There has been much progress in the potential medications that can help promote successful glucose control and address the other metabolic correlates of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Sulfonylureas should be used rarely and very carefully in older especially frail individuals because of their inherent risks. Getting physicians to change their prescribing practices in this frail elderly diabetic population is an important challenge to educators and drug program administrators.
Key Words: diabetes mellitus, sulfonylureas, diabetic management, treatment.