It may be possible to replace twice-a-day insulin injections to control Type 2 diabetes with a jab given just once a week, researchers claim. Scientists found a new formulation of the drug exenatide gave better control of blood glucose levels than the current twice-daily treatment.
During a period of 30 weeks, 259 patients were either given a shot of a long-acting form of exenatide once a week, or had the traditional twice-a-day injections.
The impact of the treatments was assessed by measuring blood glucose. Patients who were given the once-a-week jab registered a bigger average drop in blood glucose levels than those who had the twice daily jabs. A higher proportion of them also hit the target blood glucose levels during the study. The once-a-week injection was also linked to fewer side effects.
"There is not much detail provided in the report of this preliminary study but the results appear to be promising," said Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK.
"The research will need to be extended and the results confirmed before we will see any change in current practice."
The study from the University of Toronto was presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes conference in Rome.