If you are one of the more than 21 million people in the United States and an estimated 246 million adults worldwide who have diabetes, specifically type 2 diabetes, here is some excellent news for you. There is a new drug called exenatide, which when given weekly injections over the course of a year, has lowered glucose levels in diabetics and has assisted with weight loss, as shown by a recent study.
If you want to know how to treat insulin resistance so that it doesn’t develop into type 2 diabetes, read this article on how Actos decreases conversion of insulin resistance to type 2 diabetes by 81 percent.
Exenatide, aka “exenatide once weekly”, appears to also improve fasting plasma glucose and glycated hemoglobin (A1C) when administered twice a day using a product called Byetta. Byetta is the version of exenatide that is currently available on the market.
Dr. John B. Buse, director of the Diabetes Care Center and chief of the division of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill said in a prepared statement…
Patients significantly reduced their blood glucose levels and, on average, lost a total of over 9 pounds. These improvements were sustained for a year. Importantly, the study results also showed that steady-state levels of exenatide may result in improvements in a variety of glucose parameters. If approved, exenatide once weekly may provide patients with a treatment option that is on board 24 hours a day, seven days a week, helping to manage their blood sugar and, secondarily, their weight.
Byetta is currently the only incretin mimetic (it mimics insulin) approved by the USFDA for type 2 diabetics who have trouble controlling their insulin. It is often used to complement other glycemic control medications.
The three pharmaceutical companies that have been developing exenatide, Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., (the maker of Byetta), Eli Lilly and Co., and Alkermes Inc. conducted these studies, which leads me to wonder if a bias was calculated into the final results, and if we are once again getting taken for a ride by evil pharmaceutical companies. However, I will take this with a grain of salt and continue to report just the facts.
Including almost 300 type 2 diabetics, the study showed that patients who administered exenatide once weekly either for just 30 weeks or over the course of one year, lowered their A1C by average of 2.0 and their fasting plasma glucose (FPG) by 47 mg/dL.
295 patients with type 2 diabetes received subcutaneous injections of either exenatide once weekly or Byetta twice daily for 30 weeks. Afterwards, 258 of those patients either remained on exenatide once weekly or switched from Byetta to exenatide once weekly for an additional 22 weeks.
After 52 weeks, the A1C of 74% of the patients was down to 7% or less. This is the target that the ADA recommends for good glucose control. An average weight loss of 9.5 pounds was shown by both groups over the course of a year.
Mild nausea was experienced by some subjects using exenatide once weekly. Patients using sulfonylurea therapy exhibited minor occurances of hypoglycemia.
More About Diabetes
Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death by disease in the United States. The American population has exhibited an extraordinary number of cases of adult-onset type 2 diabetes in the last century. This can be directly attributed to the rise in consumption of foods that have a high glycemic index.
These foods often contain sugars such as dextrose, sucrose, glucose, and high-fructose corn syrup. Watch out for foods with added sugar, foods that are highly processed, and starchy or sugary foods that come in a cardboard box. Do your best to control your carbohydrate intake and you may never have to worry about using exenatide.