A New Approach for Type 2 Diabetes

The pill apparently works by increasing dopamine activity in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain.

| Nov 24, 2010

A new drug for type 2 diabetes started showing up in drugstores this week, according to manufacturer Santarus. The FDA-approved drug, called Cycloset, takes an distinctive -- and not well understood -- approach to reducing blood sugar levels. The pill apparently works by increasing dopamine activity in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain. Dopamine is a brain chemical that plays a big role in people's behavior, mood, and ability to sleep. Scientists theorize that glucose intolerance and insulin resistance may in part result from abnormal activity of this chemical, and that upping dopamine activity may iron out these problems.That's the theory, at least: the drug's exact workings aren't known.  But it seems to do the trick.

Research showed that Cycloset reduced patients' A1Cs by 0.6% to 0.9% compared with a placebo (when used with other oral diabetic medication). But what about day-to-day blood glucose readings? The news is good there, too. A morning dose of the drug was shown to significantly lower blood sugars after meals -- or postprandial plasma glucose levels, in researchers' parlance.

Ralph DeFronzo, MD, chief of the diabetes division in the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, said, "Cycloset represents a new treatment for adults with type 2 diabetes. Although the mechanism by which Cycloset improves glycemic control is unknown, it contains bromocriptine mesylate, which increases dopaminergic activity in the hypothalamus.. . [It] can be prescribed for adults who are inadequately controlled with diet/exercise, metformin, sulfonylureas, or thiazolidinediones."                                                                        

During a randomized yearlong study, the drug was not associated with increased risk of heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems. It's not recommended for those with type 1 diabetes or suffering ketoacidosis. Another cautionary note: Scientists haven't studied how it might work in conjunction with insulin.

Santarus, a specialty biopharmaceutical company, also markets Glumetza, an extended-release metformin tablet. It's developing several other drugs, including treatments for active ulcerative colitis, travelers' diarrhea, and rheumatoid arthritis.



Santarus press release 

Santarus web site 


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: A1c Test, Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Medications, Medications Research, Research, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.