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New Drug May Trim Insulin Injections to Just 3 a Week
Date:3/9/2011

h Sciences Center, cautioned that more research is needed to determine if people who take the drug will face a higher risk of low blood sugar.

That's a major problem for people who currently take insulin medications, she said, as is the unpredictability of the drugs. "You give the same dose to the same person every day, and the next morning you get a different result," Fonseca said. "That is challenging for patients."

It typically takes years for a drug to go through research and get approval from the U.S. government. The three-times-a-week degludec needs just one more phase of research, however, meaning that it could be on the market fairly soon if it's found to be effective. There's no indication of how much it would cost, although Kudva said it's fair to assume that it will be more expensive than insulin is today.

But one thing remains clear, Kudva said: "The most effective treatment for diabetes, a treatment that is worth doing throughout life, is attention to diet and exercise and working on one's weight. These are difficult to achieve, but even as every new medication comes, there's no getting away from that."

More information

The U.S. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse has more on diabetes medicine.

SOURCES: Yogish C. Kudva, M.B.B.S., consultant, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Vivian Fonseca, M.D., professor, medicine and pharmacology, and chief, endocrinology section, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans; March 10, 2011, The Lancet, online


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