The United States is facing a growing epidemic of unchecked and untreated individuals with prediabetes. While lifestyle interventions have remained the gold standard of treatment, has this been enough? A literature review was carried out to identify metformin’s role in treatment and management of prediabetes as well as perceived barriers to its prescribing. A total of 24 articles met inclusion criteria. Main findings include (a) metformin is effective in reducing the incidence of diabetes, though not as effective as lifestyle interventions; (b) certain populations did benefit more from metformin usage then other populations; (c) there was more treatment compliance with metformin; (d) metformin was shown to be effective in reducing microvascular complications often associated with diabetes; (e) while metformin was effective in reducing diabetes incidence, it has no effect on returning prediabetes to normal glucose ranges; (f) metformin was shown to be safe and tolerable; and (g) even when metformin was shown to be effective, it was still under prescribed and underutilized due to a knowledge gap and perceived barriers by primary care providers. These findings have important practice and policy implications, including increasing patient and provider awareness of prediabetes and its complications, developing guidelines regarding screening, diagnosing, and treatment/management of prediabetes, closing the knowledge gap and perceived barriers of primary care providers, and developing prevention programs that can be widely implemented. Further research is needed regarding the long-term implications that metformin has regarding prediabetes treatment and long-term patient outcomes.


Rhonda Cornell

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing


Allied Health and Nursing



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In Copyright