People with permanent health conditions face the need for lifelong medications, and patients with type 2 diabetes see insulin shots as part of an everyday routine. There are different types of insulin, which helps in tailoring the medication to the needs of the patient.
It is old news that a new type of insulin under the name insulin glargin can be used for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. The news of a study just published in February is, that also patients with type 2 diabetes benefit from insulin glargin. Often the standard treatment with diabetes drugs does not provide optimal control of blood sugar levels.
371 type 2 diabetes patients with inadequate diabetes control who were not supplemented with insulin were part of a 24-week clinical trial in Bremen, Germany, headed by Dr. Hans U. Janka.
The patients received an antidiabetic combo consisting of sulfonylurea and metformin. These patients were randomly picked, and they received a morning dose of glargine insulin injection along with the antidiabetic medication. Others did not receive the oral medication, but were administered twice-daily injections of NPH insulin. Patients were monitored for the level of glycosylated hemoglobin (= HbA1c), which is the best indicator for diabetes control. The improvements in laboratory tests were more pronounced in the group that received the combination between an oral antidiabetic and glargine injection. In addition 46% reached HbA1c levels of 7% or less, which is excellent long-term blood sugar control, as compared to only 29% of the NPH insulin group. Fasting blood sugar levels also showed improvement. There is a risk of patients becoming hypoglycemic. Again, the risk was significantly lower in those who were on the glargin combination, than those who were on the NPH insulin.
These results show that one single injection, which is added to the oral medication, can help type 2 diabetes patients, whose condition has been poorly controlled. Glargine insulin has been approved in Canada already in 2002, but due to supply problems it is only now expected to be on the pharmacy shelves soon.
More information on treatment of diabetes with insulin: http://nethealthbook.com/hormones/diabetes/treatment-diabetes-insulin/
Reference: National Review Of Medicine, March 15,2005,page22
Last edited October 28, 2014