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Do drugs for diabetes damage the kidneys?

Q: My 51 years old mother-in-law was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus 2 years back. Her fasting plasma glucose was 17.3 mmol/l two years back. Now with Metformin and Glicazide it has come down to 10.3 mmol/l. However, the percentage of albumin loss from her urine is 70%. She still takes Metformin 500 mg and Glicazide twice daily. Recently, she consulted the doctor and he told her that the side effects of these drugs are damage to the kidneys and if she continues to take these drugs, in 3 years time she will have to undergo dialysis. She was then advised to take insulin subcut injection Novomix. Is she taking the right medications? She is worried about taking insulin injections for the rest of her life. Please advise.

A:To say that drugs damage kidney, is absolutely wrong. It is poorly controlled diabetes, which is harmful. In your case blood sugar was very high hence insulin must have been started. If sugar is controlled well, chances of damage to all organs are minimised. Insulin is safe and good, but it does no mean that all patients should be on insulin only. There are other drugs, which tackle other causative factors of diabetes; advantage of these drugs should also be given to patients.

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