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New Type 2 drug could improve blood glucose control for some people with diabetes

A new oral drug for Type 2 diabetes, dapagliflozin, has been identified as potentially helpful for people who have problems controlling blood glucose levels just using metformin.

In a study of 534 people by researchers at Aston University in Birmingham, when the drug was used in combination with metformin it was found to improve blood glucose control and lower bodyweight, acting independently of insulin.

More choice for people with Type 2 diabetes

“Diabetes UK welcomes any research that leads to additional choice in the treatment available for people with Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr Iain Frame, Diabetes UK Director of Research.

“This study assessed how safe and effective a relatively new type of medication was in people who were struggling to achieve good glucose control with metformin. The idea of medication that will not only help someone with Type 2 diabetes control their blood glucose but also help them control their blood pressure and possibly lead to some weight loss is certainly attractive.”

Remaining cautious

He cautioned: “However, we shouldn't get too excited about the imminent arrival of this type of medication being part of someone's routine treatment. The preliminary findings from this large scale study, whilst promising, have also raised questions about unwelcome side effects. We look forward to seeing longer term trials with larger numbers of participants and will certainly watch the development of this potential new form of medication with interest.”

The findings are reported in this week’s American Diabetes Association Meeting Special Issue of The Lancet.

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