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Drug Combo Staves Off Type 2 Diabetes
Date:6/2/2010

Low doses of metformin, Avandia cut risk by two-thirds in study,,

WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- In people with pre-diabetes, a low-dose combination of two diabetes drugs -- metformin and Avandia (rosiglitazone) -- appeared to reduce the progression to type 2 diabetes, new research shows.

The study found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was reduced by two-thirds in those taking the drug combo compared to those on placebo.

"Diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder, and it's unlikely that there will ever be one magic bullet that treats or prevents diabetes," explained study author Dr. Bernard Zinman, director of the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto. "So, more like treatments for HIV/AIDS or cancer that use a drug cocktail, we attempted to look at two drugs that have been known to have beneficial effects in diabetes."

"We were pleasantly surprised to find that using half of the maximum dose was extremely effective for preventing type 2 diabetes," he said.

In addition, Zinman said that the drug combination appeared to counteract the weight gain that's common with Avandia therapy alone. He said that the researchers saw very few side effects in this study.

One major concern about this drug combination, however, is in the use of Avandia. This medication has come under intense FDA scrutiny because it has been associated with an increased risk of heart failure and heart attack. Prescribing information for Avandia now carries a warning that the drug is not recommended for use in anyone with symptomatic heart disease, and that evidence linking the drug with an increased risk of heart attack is still inconclusive.

Zinman said that although this study wasn't designed to assess the safety of Avandia, they didn't see an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease. He also pointed out that this study used only half the maxi
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