June 9, 2011

Victoza for Type 2, Helps Type 1 As Well

Who would have thought of this? People with Type 1 diabetes taking a medication developed for people with Type 2 diabetes. Apparently it works! While this is a very small study, only 14 adults, the results are surprising. We have had Type 1 people take Metformin and this is well documented (but still off-label use).

The people included in the study had well controlled Type 1, but found that they had even better control with Victoza and lost an average of 10 pounds in six months. They also required less insulin. Those that continued this treatment for a full year continued to see improvement and felt much better overall. This is according to the study leader Paresh Dandona, MD, of the State University of New York. Buffalo.

This was reported at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston. Of the 14 adults, all used the insulin pump for their insulin and received Victoza for either one week or 24 weeks. Continuous glucose monitoring showed tight control with insulin, yet all had highs and lows at unusual times.

When Victoza was added to the insulin regimen, the highs and lows were eliminated and after one week the average fasting and blood sugar levels each dropped by approximately 15 percent. Then the added benefits for preprandial insulin decrease of 30 percent and long acting insulin decrease of 32 percent make for further success.

The groups in the 24-week treatment had further decreases in insulin doses and lost an average of 10 pounds. HbA1c levels dropped from 6.5 percent to 6.1 percent. According to Dandona, the patients that have now been treated for up to a year are continuing to have the good effects that they had at the beginning.

Neither Victoza nor Byetta is approved for use in Type 1 diabetes. Dandona says that doctors could prescribe these medications for Type 1 diabetes as “off-label” use, but should only be tried by an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes, and only with careful and frequent monitoring of the patient.

Dandona says the study was done without any drug company support, but that Novo Nordisk is paying for a larger clinical trial. Dandona has asked the National Institutes of Health to support a large-scale study if this larger study yields similar results compared to the pilot study.

Read the report here.

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