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Drug effective in fighting diabetes


A drug that reduces the amount of glucose absorbed into the bloodstream lowers the chances of high-risk patients developing type 2 diabetes, a Japanese study has shown.

Research from Juntendo University School of Medicine, in Tokyo, shows that Voglibose, in concert with a healthy diet and regular exercise, significantly improved glucose tolerance.

The study, published online in the Lancet, split 1,780 patients with impaired glucose tolerance but not full-blown diabetes into two groups: one taking 0.2 mg of Voglibose three times a day; the other issued a placebo.

The researchers found that after a year, those treated with voglibose had a 40% lower risk of progression to type 2 diabetes than those receiving placebo and patients given voglibose were 54% more likely to achieve normoglycaemia than those given placebo.

However, 48% of patients in the voglibose group had adverse events possibly or probably related to treatment versus 29% of the placebo group.

The authors conclude: “Voglibose significantly improved glucose tolerance, in terms of delayed disease progression and in the number of patients who achieved normoglycaemia.

“Thus, long-term prophylaxis with this a-glucosidase inhibitor in high-risk individuals with impaired glucose tolerance could provide a pharmacological option, along with lifestyle modification, to help reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

Juntendo University

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