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News from Danish pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk reinforces the growing trend toward using a two-drug combination in the early treatment of type 2 diabetes. (See "A Conversation About Janumet and Earlier Combination Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes" for more discussion about this phenomenon.)
In a study it released in Lisbon, Portugal, at the recent meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Novo said that combining its recently released drug Victoza® (liraglutide) with another drug early in therapy helps recently diagnosed type 2s achieve greater blood glucose control than they can with a single drug.
Typically, newly diagnosed type 2s begin with a single drug to control their blood glucose-usually a sulfonylurea or metformin. Both types of drugs are inexpensive and have been staples of the diabetes drug arsenal for decades. (Sulfonylureas increase insulin production. Metformin suppresses glucose production in the liver.)
Victoza, an injectible drug approved for US sale in early 2010, is a long-acting glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) analog that stimulates increased insulin production when blood glucose levels are higher than normal. Unlike its naturally occurring counterpart, the drug remains stable for hours at a time, which means that it can be delivered on a once-daily basis. The drug's other beneficial effects include greater appetite suppression and body weight maintenance capability than sulfonylureas, as well as the ability to lower triglyceride levels.
The 26-week Novo study looked at type 2 patients who either had previously received no drugs or were taking only one oral diabetes drug daily. It found that 72 percent of patients treated early with a combination of Victoza and an oral agent achieved the European-recommended A1C target of less than 7%. (The American Diabetes Association's recommended target is 7%.) This compared to 49 percent of subjects who achieved the recommended A1C levels when they waited until later in the progression of their diabetes to begin taking the combination therapy.
Categories: A1C, American Diabetes Association, Blood Glucose, Combination Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes, Diabetes, Diabetes, European Association for the Study of Diabetes, GLP-1, Januvia/Janumet, Liraglutide, Metformin, Novo Nordisk, Sulfonylureas, Triglycerides, Type 2 Diabetes, Type 2 Issues, Victoza
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