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Introduction: Sulphonylureas (SUs) are commonly prescribed medications for type 2 diabetes
mellitus (T2DM) worldwide. Diff erences among SUs for kinetic and adenosine triphosphate
sensitive potassium (KATP) channels selectivity and consequential extra pancreatic eff ects,
though recognized in literature, are not considered by treatment guidelines.
Areas Covered: Th e role of SUs in various systems related adverse eff ects have not been well
understood. Inconsistencies in literature and lack of clinical trials assessing the long-term eff ects
of monotherapy or combination therapy with SUs add to the concern. Th is review provides
insights in issues concerning safety of SUs based on literature published between 1980-2011. A
comprehensive search was carried out on PubMed, Embase & Cochrane databases using search
terms viz. sulphonylureas, sulphonylureas and KATP channels, sulphonylureas & cardiovascular
eff ects, sulphonylureas side eff ects etc.
Expert Opinion: SUs have been linked to CV events, growth hormone (GH) disorder,
malignancy, weight gain and CNS adverse eff ects. Th ese adverse eff ects generally get masked
as they are thought to be related to diabetes per se. Th e current article will allow the fraternity
to ponder and undertake further research on the ill eff ects of largely prescribed anti-diabetic
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