Metformin use is not associated with B12 deficiency or neuropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes Mellitus in Qatar

Tarik Elhadd, Georgios Ponirakis, Zeinab Dabbous, Mashhood Siddique, Subitha Chinnaiyan, Rayaz Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Metformin may lead to B12 deficiency and neuropathy. There are no published data on the prevalence of Metformin-related B12 deficiency and neuropathy in the Arabian Gulf. Aims: Determine whether Metformin intake is associated with B12 deficiency and whether B12 deficiency is associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) and painful diabetic neuropathy. Methods: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (n = 362) attending outpatient clinics at HMC underwent assessment of B12 levels, the DN4 questionnaire, and vibration perception threshold (VPT). Results: Comparing Metformin to non-Metformin users there were no differences in B12 levels, VPT, or DN4. The prevalence of B12 deficiency (B12 < 133 pmol/l) was lower (P < 0.01) in Metformin (8%) compared to non-Metformin (19%) users. Patients with B12 deficiency had a comparable prevalence and severity of sensory neuropathy and painful neuropathy to patients without B12 deficiency. Conclusion: Serum B12 levels were comparable between Metformin and non-Metformin users with T2DM in Qatar. T2DM patients on Metformin had a lower prevalence of B12 deficiency. Furthermore, the prevalence and severity of neuropathy and painful diabetic neuropathy were comparable between patients with and without B12 deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number248
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2018


  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Diabetic painful neuropathy
  • Metformin
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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