Healthy living

New treatment may reduce number of diabetes jabs

New insulin may reduce number of diabetes jabs Study finds long lasting-form of insulin effective

A new type of insulin may make daily injections for people with diabetes a thing of the past.

A preliminary trial has shown that a longer-acting form of insulin - degludec - injected three times a week, was as effective at controlling blood sugar levels as daily injections.

If the results of the drug trial are confirmed, the hope is that it will make it easier for people with diabetes to stick to their treatment.

In the trial, 245 people with type 2 diabetes who had not yet started to take insulin were given a widely used insulin - glargine - or the new form, degludec, either daily or three times a week for 16 weeks.

According to the findings reported in the Lancet journal, the degludec injected three times a week controlled blood sugar levels as effectively as the other treatments.

The researchers also reported that fewer patients given daily injections of degludec suffered from hypoglycaemia compared to the other groups.

Commenting on the study, Dr Yogish C Kudva and Dr Ananda Basu, from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, said: “Doses given three times a week might improve adherence, improve glycaemic control without an increase in hypoglycaemia, and cause less disruption to the patient’s lifestyle.”

They also added that lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are inexpensive ways for patients to help improve their condition, even as the numbers of long-acting drugs for type 2 diabetes increase.

The phase 2 trial was funded by the Danish manufacturer Novo Nordisk.

This article was published on Thu 10 March 2011

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