Malabsorption of Vitamin B12 in Diabetic Patients Treated with Phenformin: A Comparison with MetforminBr Med J 1973; 3 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.3.5882.673 (Published 29 September 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:673
- Gerald H. Tomkin
An investigation into B12 absorption in diabetic patients on long-term phenformin therapy was undertaken and the results were compared to a similar investigation previously reported in diabetics on long-term metformin. Forty-six per cent of patients were found to have B12 malabsorption as shown by abnormal results of Schilling tests.
The mechanism of B12 malabsorption is unknown but it is suggested that all patients on long-term phenformin therapy should, like the patients on metformin, have annual serum B12 estimations until the results of a longer follow-up series are known.