Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Phenformin and lactic acidosis.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 10 January 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:70
  1. P H Wise,
  2. M Chapman,
  3. D W Thomas,
  4. A R Clarkson,
  5. P E Harding,
  6. J B Edwards


    Thirty-eight patients who presented with diabetes and a changed state of consciousness satisfied the criteria for lactic acidosis. Sixteen patients were non-ketotic, and 15 of these were receiving phenformin on admission. In all but one of these 15 patients, however, additional renal or cardiovascular abnormalities, or both, could be identified, which supported a multifactorial aetiology for lactic acidosis. Advanced age and cardiovascular and renal disease are absolute contraindications to the use of phenformin in diabetics.