Long-term efficacy of sulfonylureas: a United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study perspective

Metabolism. 2006 May;55(5 Suppl 1):S2-5. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2006.02.006.


The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study shows sulfonylureas to be an effective first-line therapy for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The durability of the glycemic control obtained is dependent on the degree to which beta-cell function can be maintained, but sulfonylureas appear neither to increase nor to decrease the underlying rate of loss of beta-cell function. As sulfonylureas act by enhancing insulin secretion, they are probably best used close to the time when diabetes is diagnosed when beta-cell function is at its greatest and their utility can be extended by judicious use in combination with agents that improve glycemia by different modes of action, including insulin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiopathology
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • United Kingdom


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds
  • Metformin