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Diabet Med. 2002 Feb;19(2):136-43.

Vascular effects of glibenclamide vs. glimepiride and metformin in Type 2 diabetic patients.

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  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Glibenclamide attenuates the protective responses to opening of vascular ATP-sensitive potassium (K(ATP)) channels during ischaemia. Therefore, glibenclamide treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus may have hazardous cardiovascular effects when used under conditions of ischaemia. Glimepiride and metformin seem to lack such characteristics. Based on these data, we hypothesized that, in contrast to glibenclamide, chronic treatment of Type 2 diabetic patients with glimepiride or metformin will not impair the vasodilator function of K(ATP) opening in vivo.


Two groups of 12 Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients participated in a double-blind randomized cross-over study consisting of two 8-week periods, in which treatment with orally administered glibenclamide (15 mg/day) was compared with either glimepiride or metformin (6 mg and 1500 mg/day, respectively). At the end of each treatment period, the increase in forearm blood flow (FBF, venous occlusion plethysmography) in response to intra-arterial administered diazoxide (K(ATP) opener), acetylcholine (endothelium-dependent vasodilator) and dipyridamole (adenosine-uptake blocker) and to forearm ischaemia was measured.


There were no significant differences in vasodilator responses to diazoxide, acetylcholine, dipyridamole and forearm ischaemia after glibenclamide compared with glimepiride and metformin.


Chronic treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus with glimepiride or metformin has similar effects on vascular K(ATP) channels compared with chronic glibenclamide treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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