Several diabetes medicines are being eyed for use outside of this condition, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Metformin is a older medication used for type 2 diabetes that’s now being evaluated for improving longevity. Another diabetes medicine called a GLP-1 agonist is being used to treat obesity. Diabetes expert Rita Kalyani at Johns Hopkins says possible expanded uses for these drugs extend to other classes as well.

Kalyani: Older classes of medications though too have indications or benefits outside just diabetes.For instance pioglitazone, which we've had for a long time, we know that there have been studies demonstrating benefit in reducing progression to diabetes, cardiovascular disease also on what we used to call non alcoholic liver disease. So I think it's important to recognize that what we're seeing with the newer classes of agents in terms of pleiotropic potential benefits is not singular to the newer classes of agents. I think it's a win win for all of us.      :32

Kalyani cautions that until the data is in, no one should be taking a diabetes drug for another purpose. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.