Pharmacological treatment of diabetes in older people

W. M. Valencia, H. Florez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The pharmacological management of diabetes in older people is complex and challenging. It requires a comprehensive understanding of the individual beyond the diabetes itself. Through the ageing years, the older individual presents with diabetes-related and non-related comorbidities and complications, develops functional limitations and psychological issues, and may lack social support and access to care. A disturbance in these categories, known as the four geriatric domains, will negatively affect diabetes self-management and self-efficacy, leading to poor outcomes and complications. Furthermore, older people with diabetes may be more interested in the management of other chronic conditions such as pain or impaired mobility, and diabetes may be lower in their list of priorities. Proper education must be provided to the older individual and caregivers, with continuous monitoring and counselling, especially when pharmacological interventions offer risks of side effects, adverse reactions and interactions with other medications. Informed shared medical decisions will help to improve adherence to the regimen; however, such discussions ought to be based on the best evidence available, which is unfortunately limited in this age group. We performed a review focused on pharmacological agents and summarize current evidence on their use for the treatment of diabetes in older people. We encourage clinicians to investigate and incorporate the four geriatrics domains in the selection and monitoring of these agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1192-1203
Number of pages12
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Antidiabetic drug
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Medicines management
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Pharmacological treatment of diabetes in older people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this