In a new study, researchers found that a drug combination can help people with diabetes control blood sugar levels.
The finding may help diabetic patients prevent long-term complications of type 2 diabetes.
The research was led by a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
For patients with diabetes, maintaining lower blood glucose levels is important to reduce the risk of complications such as nerve damage, kidney damage, eye problems and an increased risk of heart disease.
In the new study, the team tested 1012 diabetic patients who took stable doses of oral antidiabetic drugs.
They either took insulin drug IGlar or insulin plus liraglutide (IDegLira), a combination of both insulin and additional medication to help with blood sugar control.
After 2 years, the team found that patients who received IDegLira could achieve blood glucose goals better and could remain at that goal longer compared to other patients.
In addition, these patients had less weight gain and less risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.
This finding shows that the drug IDegLira had a more durable effect compared with the insulin drug alone.
The researchers say that concerns about weight gain, low blood sugar, and fear of injectables may prevent patients from achieving better glycemic control.
Although both IDegLira and the IGlar were given as daily injections, IDegLira showed improved outcomes without the need for a separate, additional injection.
The new drug combo treatment also could reduce the side effects often associated with insulin-only therapy.
The team hopes the new finding can benefit diabetic patients and help them manage blood sugar better.
One author of the study is Vanita R. Aroda, MD, a specialist in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension.
The study is published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
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