Aldose Reductase Inhibitors

William R. Kirchain, Marc S. Rendell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The present management of diabetes consists of attempting to control blood sugar tightly in the normal range and to treat individual complications such as neuropathy and retinopathy as they appear. Whereas these measures are perhaps effective in slowing the progress of diabetic complications, they do not cure the underlying process. The aldose reductase inhibitors have been investigated as possible remedies for various diabetic complications. Aldose reductase is an enzyme present in several human tissues that reduces glucose to sorbitol. In animal models there is evidence that the production of sorbitol is associated with the development of diabetic complications. Animal and human studies have tested the ability of aldose reductase inhibitors to halt or reverse diabetic complications. The weight of evidence leads to two conclusions: first, that aldose reductase inhibitors may bring significant relief to patients with certain diabetic complications; and second, that the current approach to proving clinical efficacy may not be adequate for these drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-336
Number of pages11
JournalPharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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