Diabetes pill might replace injection to control blood sugar
An injectable class of diabetes medication — called glucagon-like peptide-1 or GLP-1 — might one day be available in pill form, research suggests.
Based on the results of a global phase 2 clinical trial, the study authors reported a significant drop in blood sugar levels for people on the oral medication, and no significant increase in low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) compared to a placebo over six months.
The findings also showed that people taking the highest dose of the pill lost a large amount of weight — about 15 pounds — compared to a weight loss of fewer than 3 pounds for people on the inactive placebo pill.
The research was funded by Novo Nordisk, the company that makes the drug, called oral semaglutide.
"Semaglutide could transform diabetes treatment," said Dr. Robert Courgi, an endocrinologist at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y.
"Glucagon-like peptide receptor agonists are agents that are highly recommended according to diabetes guidelines, but rarely used because they require injection. Most patients prefer a pill," Courgi explained.
Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, agreed that these new findings were exciting.
"This medication looks pretty good. The high dose matched the [injection] version. There was low hypoglycemia. It controls blood glucose. There was weight loss and it's not an injection. This is the same molecule that's been shown [as an injection] to decrease cardiovascular mortality," Zonszein said.
"It has all the ingredients for an excellent medication. If this Continue reading