Dr. Crandall’s advice for diabetes patients: First try to manage your health with improved diet and fitness, which can often be as effective as drugs. For those who require medication, choose an older drug — such as the longtime diabetes medicine metformin — as first-line defense. Only those who don’t benefit from older drugs with a long record of safety and effectiveness should consider a newer medicine like Merck's Januvia.
"I think the bottom line is that all drugs carry risks," Dr. Crandall tells Newsmax Health. "Many have great benefits, but all have side effects and risks. The longer I’ve been in medicine the more I observe this, so we always need to weigh the risk-benefit ratio."
Dr. Crandall adds that he is particularly "suspicious"of new drugs, pushed by drug companies as better alternatives to tried-and-true treatments in heavy marketing campaigns aimed at doctors.