London: In what may be bring tremendous relief to the diabetics who undergo the daily ordeal of taking insulin injections to keep their disease in check, a study published in Lancet says that just once weekly shot of exenatide can vastly help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes produces a significant improvement in blood
sugar control, as well as inducing a mean weight loss of 2.6kg per patient.
The current standard second-line therapy of insulin glargine
(dosed to a specific target) also produces improved blood sugar control, but to a lesser extent than exenatide. Insulin glargine, which has to be injected daily, also produced a mean weight gain of 1.4kg per patient.
The conclusions of the DURATION-3 study are reported in an Article in
this week`s American Diabetes Association meeting Special Issue of The
Diabetes treatments are needed that are convenient, provide effective
glycaemic control, and do not cause weight gain. While exenatide has
been found to improve blood glucose control and induce weight loss in
other studies, those studies addressed the twice-daily formulation of
A new formulation has been developed which only requires
weekly injection. In this study, Professor Michaela Diamant, Diabetes
Centre, VU University Medical Centre (VUMC), Amsterdam, The
Netherlands, and colleagues tested the hypothesis that improvement in
blood sugar control (measured by HbA1c concentration*) achieved with
once-weekly exenatide is better than that achieved with the existing
standard second-line treatment for patients not responding to oral
blood-glucose-lowering agents-insulin glargine titrated to glucose
Dr Anoop Misra, the Director of Department of Diabetes & Metabolic Diseases, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, India, agreed that exenatide could be used in patients "with obesity and those in whom hypoglycaemia is a clinical concern."
According to him "Currently, there is more promise, few disadvantages, and some unknowns about treatment with long-acting exenatide for diabetes.”
”Despite advances in antihyperglycaemic therapy, a drug which would lead
to substantial prevention of macrovascular and microvascularcomplications, decreases mortality, and is convenient and affordable, remains the undiscovered Holy Grail of diabetes management,” Dr Mishra said.