This once-weekly treatment can manage type 2 diabetes better, study finds

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For people living with type 2 diabetes, managing blood sugar levels is crucial, and insulin is often a key part of their treatment plan.

However, forgetting insulin injections and not adjusting the dose properly can hinder effective blood sugar control.

The ONWARDS 5 trial explored a new approach to help with this: a type of insulin you only need to take once a week, called insulin icodec, and a special app to guide people on the correct dose. The goal is to make diabetes treatment easier and more effective.

Breakdown of the Study

The ONWARDS 5 study included 1,085 adults with type 2 diabetes from seven different countries who had not used insulin before. They were divided into two groups.

One group used the new once-weekly insulin icodec and followed a dosing guide app to adjust their insulin dose, while the other group followed the standard practice of taking insulin once a day.

The purpose of this study was to see if this new approach of taking insulin once a week, combined with the app to guide dosing, could be more effective and safer than the everyday insulin routine.

Uncovering the Results

The results of the study were promising. The group using the once-weekly insulin icodec with the app saw better reductions in their HbA1c levels—a measure of long-term blood sugar control—compared to the group using once-daily insulin.

They also reported being more satisfied with their treatment and were more likely to stick to their insulin routine.

These findings suggest that using insulin icodec with the app could overcome some common problems seen in managing diabetes, such as not adjusting the insulin dose properly and not following the prescribed treatment plan.

By doing so, this new approach could improve blood sugar control and treatment satisfaction for people with diabetes.

The Larger Picture

The possibility of having to inject insulin only once a week, as opposed to every day, could significantly lessen the burden of treatment for people with diabetes.

Combined with a dosing guide app, this method could address many challenges that both healthcare providers and patients face in managing diabetes in daily life, such as ensuring that the treatment plan is followed and that the insulin dose is adjusted properly.

Moreover, the improved adherence to treatment and the heightened satisfaction reported by participants using insulin icodec and the app underline the potential of this approach in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with diabetes.

It holds the promise of making diabetes management more user-friendly, thereby fostering better health outcomes.


The ONWARDS 5 trial brings hope to those managing type 2 diabetes by demonstrating the potential benefits of once-weekly insulin icodec, coupled with a dosing guide app.

This combination not only eases the treatment routine but also enhances adherence and satisfaction, addressing common challenges in diabetes management.

By simplifying and improving the way insulin is used, this innovative approach could mark a significant stride in diabetes care, offering a more convenient and efficient path to healthier lives for millions dealing with diabetes.

If you care about blood sugar, please read studies about why blood sugar is high in the morning, and how to cook sweet potatoes without increasing blood sugar.

For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies that Mediterranean diet can reduce belly fat much better, and Keto diet could help control body weight and blood sugar in diabetes.

The research findings can be found in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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