Metformin-A drug of plant origin
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Galega officinalis is a summer-flowering perennial herb found in most temperate regions. One of the first use of this herb was to cure the frequent urination associated with the disease, now called as diabetes mellitus. In 1926, polymethethylene diguanides had been introduced for the treatment of diabetes and due to its debilitating effect on the liver, it had been withdrawn in the 1940s. On working with dicyanodiamide and dimethylammonium, Dublin chemists, Emil Werner and James Bell had discovered a compound in 1922. They found out that dicyanodiamide on reaction with dimethyl ammonium chloride yielded dimethyldiguanide, i.e., metformin. The Food and Drugs Administration approves metformin to be used for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Metformin was approved for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in 1958 for UK, in 1972 for Canada and in 1995 by FDA in USA. Although metformin was initially proven to treat high sugar levels, there are many uses of metformin proven to be effective. Metformin not only for diabetes, but also for gestational diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypersecretion of ovarian androgens, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), antipsychotic therapy induced weight gain, cancer treatment and anti-aging. Metformin is the drug of choice for patients who are obese and have type 2 diabetes mellitus. It works by decreasing hepatic glucose production and decreasing peripheral insulin resistance. Metformin acts on obesity by causing a decrease in the appetite. The other action of metformin is reduction of circulating levels of insulin and insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) which is associated with anticancer action. There are ongoing research about the effect of metformin on anti-aging properties and proved that metformin is linked with anti-aging factors. Three main factors that are related with aging are oxidation, glycation and methylation.
Metformin, uses, diabetes mellitus, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome.