Older diabetes drugs better than newer ones, study finds

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Older, less-expensive diabetes drugs are just as effective and safe as their newer, costlier counterparts, a new study finds.

It is the first in-depth comparison of oral diabetes drugs that have been available in the last decade and those that have been on the market for more than a decade. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University reviewed more than 200 published studies and unpublished information from drug companies and the Food and Drug Administration. The study was published online Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Metformin, which is sold as Glucophage, was found to work just as well as other more expensive medications and does not cause weight gain or dangerously low blood sugar levels, the report found. It also lowers LDL, the "harmful" cholesterol, levels.