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Insulin May Be First Line Therapy for Diabetes

09/14/2009 - News

Insulin May Be First Line Therapy for Diabetes

By: June Chen, MD

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People recently diagnosed with diabetes may be resistant to the early use of insulin due to concerns of associated weight gain, low blood sugar, and negative impact on quality of life. According to a study published in Diabetes Care, insulin, in combination with the oral medication metformin, is a safe and effective first line treatment in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas initiated patients with newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes on treatment with insulin and metformin for a 3-month lead-in period. After this lead-in period, the diabetes patients were randomized to treatment with either insulin and metformin or a standard three-drug oral medication regimen for an additional 36 months. Upon completion of the study, there was no significant difference in blood sugar control, weight gain, or hypoglycemic events between the two groups. Compliance, quality of life, and treatment satisfaction were similar between the two groups, and 100 percent of the diabetes patients who were randomized to treatment with insulin were willing to continue with insulin therapy.

Insulin is the currently the most effective blood sugar-lowering agent available. Based on these findings, the researchers suggest that insulin should no longer be viewed as a treatment of last resort for patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Rather, insulin can be safely and effectively used as a first-line diabetes treatment with high rates of patient compliance and satisfaction.

 

Source:

Diabetes Care, 2009.

Created on: 09/14/2009
Reviewed on: 09/14/2009

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