Use of non-insulin antidiabetic drugs in children and young adults - A Scandinavian drug utilization study from 2010-2019

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2021 Nov;87(11):4470-4475. doi: 10.1111/bcp.14867. Epub 2021 Apr 28.


Knowledge on utilization patterns of non-insulin antidiabetic drugs in childhood and youth is limited. Therefore, we conducted a population-based drug utilization study using publicly available aggregate data on use of non-insulin antidiabetics from 2010 to 2019 in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) in individuals aged up to 24 years. For each non-insulin antidiabetic drug, we calculated the annual prevalence proportion of users, overall and for specific age groups. From 2010 to 2019, the prevalence of non-insulin antidiabetic users in Scandinavia increased 37% from 0.43 to 0.59/1000 individuals. The prevalence proportions were highest among female adolescents and young adults, but the largest relative increase in use was seen among 10-14-year-olds (78%). Metformin was by far the most widely used non-insulin antidiabetic drug with a prevalence proportion of 0.51/1000 in 2019, followed by glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues, which, however, showed an eight-fold relative increase during the study period.

Keywords: adolescents; anti-diabetics; children; drug utilization; type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Drug Utilization
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Metformin*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Young Adult


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Metformin