Metformin is the first choice among drugs used for the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus mainly because of several advantages: proven hypoglycemic effect, good safety profile, virtually no risk of hypoglycemia, body weight reduction, lipid-lowering effect, efficacy in preventing micro- and macrovascular complications as well as adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events and reduced cost. Previous reports had shown an increased risk of lactic acidosis in patients receiving metformin. However, the current Guidelines have greatly limited this risk to certain categories of patients, such as those with severe chronic renal failure, particularly when predisposing risk factors such as administration of iodinated contrast are present. In this review, we reported the main data of the literature on the use of metformin in patients with chronic renal failure and both highly expected benefits and high potential risks.
Full text of the article is available in Italian.