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New Type 2 diabetes treatments

Diabetes UK has welcomed two new treatments for Type 2 diabetes.

“People with diabetes should have as wide a choice as possible of effective treatments for their condition," said Simon O’Neill, Director of Care, Information and Advocacy Services at Diabetes UK.

“In some cases, Type 2 diabetes can be managed through lifestyle adjustments such as eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking regular physical activity. When managing the condition in this way is not possible, Diabetes UK recognises that a wide choice of treatment options can help."

Byetta

Byetta (Exenatide) is a synthetic copy of the hormone found in the Gila lizard (pictured above) that can be used as an add-on treatment for people with Type 2 diabetes. It works in three different ways:

  1. It helps the body to produce more insulin when it is needed.
  2. It reduces the amount of glucose being produced by the liver when it is not needed.
  3. It reduces the rate at which the stomach digests foods and empties. This means that the rate at which glucose from food is released into the blood is reduced.

Byetta (Exenatide) helps people with Type 2 diabetes manage their blood glucose levels. Although it is injected, it is not an insulin. It must be injected twice daily and has been shown to shown to reduce blood glucose levels and may also help weight management. It is used in combination with metformin, and/or sulphonylurea tablets.

Januvia 

Januvia (Sitagliptin) is an add-on treatment for people with Type 2 diabetes. It is a DPP-4 inhibitor which works by increasing the levels of hormones in the body called incretins. These hormones are released throughout the day and levels are increased at meal times. They work in the body in two ways:

  1. Produce more insulin only when needed.
  2. Reduce the amount of glucose being produced by the liver when it is not needed.

Januvia (Sitagliptin) is taken in tablet form once a day with or without food. It is an add-on treatment suitable for use with either Metformin or a Glitazone. It is currently not licensed as mono-therapy, triple-therapy or as an add-on medicine with insulin.

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