Since their introduction in clinical practice in the 1950's, Sulfonylureas (SUs) have remained the main-stay of pharmacotherapy in the management of type 2 diabetes. Despite their well-established benefits, their place in therapy is inappropriately being overshadowed by newer therapies. Many of the clinical issues associated with the use of SUs are agent-specific, and do not pertain to the class as such. Modern SUs (glimepiride, gliclazide MR) are backed by a large body of evidence, experience, and most importantly, outcome data, which supports their role in managing patients with diabetes. Person-centred care, i.e., careful choice of SU, appropriate dosage, timing of administration, and adequate patient counseling, will ensure that deserving patients are not deprived of the advantages of this well-established class of anti-diabetic agents. Considering their efficacy, safety, pleiotropic benefits, and low cost of therapy, SUs should be considered as recommended therapy for the treatment of diabetes in South Asia. This initiative by SAFES aims to encourage rational, safe and smart prescription of SUs, and includes appropriate medication counseling.
Keywords: Anti-hyperglycaemic agent; gliclazide; glimepiride; glipizide; safety; sulfonylurea; type 2 diabetes mellitus; vascular complications.