Can a type 1 diabetic take an insulin-resistence drug in addition to insulin to better control blood glucose?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

Can a Type 1 diabetic take an insulin-resistence drug (e.g. metformin), in addition to insulin, to better control blood glucose?

Expert Answers

Theresa Garnero is clinical nurse manager of Diabetes Services at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

No. That would be considered off label. Type 1 diabetes is an insulin deficiency issue. Although some type 1s may be overweight and at risk for insulin resistance, it may seem logical to consider medications to reduce that resistance thereby improving glucose control while continuing to take insulin injections.

Metformin is also used to help regular ovulation, but for someone with type 1? I have never personally seen it used.

Community Answers

Brittneysmom answered...

My daughter is 10 yrs old and is currently on Metformin and Novolog as well as Lantus. She takes Metformin for insulin resistance. She is not overweight. We've only been on it a week now, but so far it looks like it's helping. I was told to have her exercise 30 minutes a day because it makes your muscles more sensitive thus pulling more sugar from her body. I am hoping soon we can lower her insulin doses and control her numbers. Hope this helps.

Kay choi answered...

It is controversial whether metformin is beneficial in type 1 DM. There are clinical trials evaluate efficacy of adding metformin in Type 1 pt with insulin therapy, So far there is no trial provide strong evidence of supporting metformin use in type 1 DM. However, trials revealed some type 1 patients who are overweight requiring high dose of insulin and uncontrolled A1c may benefit from metformin. If metformin is prescribed with insulin, pt education should be provided regarding potential risks such as lactic acidosis and hypoglycemia.