Oral Antidiabetics

Volume 119 of the series Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology pp 305-358

Preclinical Pharmacology of Biguanides

  • N. F. Wiernsperger

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Probably few classes of chemicals have generated as many publications as have the biguanides. In the previous review on the preclinical pharmacology of the biguanides in 1971, Beckmann discussed in great detail the pharmacological properties of mainly three biguanide derivatives: phenformin, buformin and metformin. Since that time, important changes have occurred in the form of an almost complete withdrawal of PHEN and BUF from the international markets. On the other hand, a large number of publications have appeared during the last 25 years, most of which have been oriented towards the elucidation of the mode of action of biguanides in diabetes. There are therefore new aspects which must now be considered, for example, prediabetic or non-diabetic insulin resistance, insulin receptor/cell-signaling effects and other properties of potential new applications such as vascular effects.