New diabetes drug lowers blood sugar, weight
A new class of diabetes drug lowers blood sugar -- and weight -- by increasing the amount of sugar released in the urine.It sounds like something that doctors will be adding to diabetes patients' pill tackle box. I am also hearing of a new medication that also acts as an appetite suppressant where people eat smaller portions of food.
Now the first of these so-called SGLT2 inhibitors has been tested in a phase III clinical trial. It's dapagliflozin, being jointly developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca.
Study leader Clifford J. Bailey, PhD, is professor of clinical science at Aston University in Birmingham, England. "It works through an entirely different mechanism than any other diabetes drugs currently available," Bailey tells WebMD. "And you can add it on to other treatments and get an additional benefit. Plus as far as we can see, it can be used at any stage in the disease process."
And that's not all. Because dapagliflozin makes the body excrete excess sugar, it makes diabetes patients lose weight. Metformin helps patients lose weight, too, but those adding dapagliflozin to metformin lost about 4 and 1/2 more pounds than those taking metformin alone in the 24-week study.
The lost weight was not just water. Patients taking dapagliflozin had smaller waistlines, so the lost weight appears to have been fat.