Decision tool may take the guess work out of type 2 diabetes treatment planning

Due to the growing number of Americans who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, drug manufacturers have ramped up research on different diabetes medications that can help control blood glucose levels as well as symptoms of some other metabolic disorders.

While the increasing availability of diabetes treatments may be beneficial to people who have been diagnosed with the condition, physicians may find that they require extra time to sort through all of the accessible medication options to find one that fits their patient's unique needs.

In order to improve this process for both doctors and patients, researchers from the Department of Medicines Management at Keele University recently created a Type 2 Diabetes Management Support Tool.

As it was developed in the UK, the software uses algorithms to recommend individualized treatment methods for individuals with type 2 diabetes based on information from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, as well as a patient profile.

Along with the treatment suggestion, the decision device provides users with reasons behind its recommendation, such as diabetes management considerations, common side effects of certain drugs, medication costs and associated guidelines on treating co-existing conditions like high blood pressure and lipid imbalances.

"With both recent [health agency] guidance and the growing number of anti-diabetes agents at our disposal we anticipate that this intuitive tool will easily guide the prescriber through what may otherwise be an ever more complex evidence base," said lead researcher Stephen Chapman.

The Mayo Clinic states that it is important for individuals with type 2 diabetes to store their diabetes medications properly - at room temperature - and check the expiration dates on these products regularly since out-of-date diabetes treatments may be ineffective.

Also, people with type 2 diabetes should be cautious when taking a new non-diabetes medication, since other drugs may interact with those used to control blood sugar levels, the organization explains.