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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Diabetes Medication'

You Can Use Metformin Even with Reduced Kidney Function

May 21st, 2016 · Comments Off

Metformin and 18 brand-name drugs that include it are safe for millions of people with diabetes who have reduced kidney function. This month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a drug safety communication that will let at least 2.5 million more Americans who have this disease use this diabetes drug.

In addition to metformin itself, which is a generic drug, it remains available as Glucophage, the original brand name. Other brands of metformin that the FDA’s decision affects include Actoplus Met, Avandamet, Glucovance, and Janumet.

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Posted in: Diabetes Medication

The High Cost of Diabetes

April 13th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Diabetes isn’t especially expensive because it causes nothing. But uncontrolled diabetes can be one of the most expensive diseases anybody can get.

The visits you have to make to your doctor, the blood glucose meters that you require to check your level, and the prescription medications that most people with diabetes need are only a small part of the economic costs of diabetes.  But all together, these essential components of diabetes management were just one-third of the estimated direct costs of diagnosed diabetes in 2012, the most recent year for which we have data.

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Posted in: Diabetes Medication

Start Taking Insulin Now

March 14th, 2016 · 11 Comments

You can avoid the worst consequences of diabetes if you take insulin soon after a doctor tells you that you have the disease, recent studies show. You can even drive your diabetes into remission and preserve the beta cell function of your pancreas that you otherwise could lose. When your beta cells don’t work well, it’s even harder to manage your diabetes.

While everyone who has type 1 diabetes has to take insulin, of course, only one-fourth of people with type 2 diabetes do so far, usually after years of failure on oral diabetes drugs. After you have tried one of them after another, and your blood glucose is still too high, people may have to go on insulin, although usually with reluctance. You still hear people with diabetes telling you with pride, “I don’t have to take insulin.”

Shape Up

Even worse is that some doctors even use it as a threat, saying something like, “If you don’t shape up, I’m going to make you inject insulin.” But by that time most of the beta cells of your pancreas that store and release your own body’s insulin into the bloodstream have also failed.

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Posted in: Diabetes Medication

How You Can Lose Weight When You Take a Non-insulin Injectable

March 11th, 2016 · 7 Comments

Credit: NDEI.org

You will probably gain weight when you take most diabetes medicines to help you manage your blood glucose level. This in turn makes your diabetes harder to manage. But one relatively new class of diabetes medicine will often help you to lose weight.

Most people who have diabetes need to lose weight. More than 85 percent of adults with diabetes were overweight in the U.S. government’s Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. And 54.8 percent of the adults with diabetes were obese.

The shining exception to this sad story is a relatively new type or class of drugs that helps those of us who have type 2 diabetes to reduce our blood glucose level and at the same time also helps us to lose weight. These drugs have the technical name “glucagon-like peptide receptor agonists.” Because this is a mouthful, we often call them GLP-1 agonists or incretin mimetics.

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Use Insulin as a FIRST Resort

January 10th, 2016 · 12 Comments

You can get the best control over your diabetes by taking insulin until you are ready to go on a very low-carb diet. But if you have type 2 diabetes, you may have always thought that taking insulin was something you used when everything else failed to manage your blood glucose level.

insulin

“If you don’t shape up, I’m going to make you inject insulin,” is a threat we may hear from our doctors. How about turning the table on your doctor and ask for it yourself?

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Victoza Can Reverse Fatty Liver Disease

January 9th, 2016 · 12 Comments

The diabetes drug called liraglutide, marketed as Victoza, can reverse a common and serious complication of diabetes, according to a new study. This is good news for anyone who is already taking it or Byetta or Bydureon to manage blood glucose.

victoza

This complication goes by the mouthful of a name “non-alcoholic steatohepatitis,” or NASH, which is inflammation of the liver, which a buildup of fat in the liver causes. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, which half to 70 percent of all people with type 2 diabetes have, can lead to NASH.

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Stop Taking Calcium Pills

December 6th, 2015 · 27 Comments

Stop taking calcium even if you have diabetes: It doesn’t work and it has side effects, including heart attacks. This is the blunt message of recent studies of this mineral.

Our doctors have been telling us for years that we need 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. They were wrong, they now admit.

calcium foods

Because of this bad advice more than 60 percent of American women aged 60 or more were taking calcium supplements a few years ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Nevertheless, some researchers wanted us to take even more calcium: “Americans are not meeting current calcium recommendations,” according to a 2007 article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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NPH Insulin Works Well — If You Mix It Enough

October 25th, 2015 · 1 Comment

The variability from day to day might alarm you if you manage your diabetes with one of the intermediate acting insulins. The problem could be that you aren’t mixing it well enough.

The type of insulin that we call NPH can take one to three hours to start working. But it lasts for 12 to 16 hours.

Its generic name is NPH; Novo Nordisk sells it as Novolin N and Lilly as Humulin N. NPH is also available premixed with short acting insulin.

insulin-syringe

But NPH insulin is itself a mixture, and that’s the problem. Its cloudy part is rich in insulin crystals while its clear part isn’t. Before you inject it, you have to mix these parts.

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Deprescribing Diabetes Drugs

October 11th, 2015 · 14 Comments

Do you wonder why your doctor keeps telling you to take more and more drugs to manage your diabetes? Many people with diabetes take three or even more prescriptions for it every day.

A new article in the BMJ, which is the journal of the British Medical Association, reviewed the case of a British man who has had diabetes for 14 years and wondered if his stomach upset problems might be from the drugs he was taking for diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. He “asked if he could cut down on any if they weren’t all needed,” but didn’t want to jeopardize his diabetes control.

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In the article by Doctors David Unwin and Simon Tobin, “A patient request for some ‘deprescribing’” they reported what happened next. They felt that “none of his drugs is essential — they have all been prescribed to reduce his risk of cardiovascular events and the complications of diabetes, not to treat an actual disease.” They appreciated that a better diet and more exercise were alternatives to the drugs.

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Watch Out for Dangerous Drug Interactions

September 29th, 2015 · Comments Off

Do you take drugs? I’m asking mainly about the prescriptions that your doctor prescribed. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg for some of us.

It’s easy to forget to consider some of the drugs that you take. Of course you included your prescriptions, but did you remember to include those that you buy over the counter? Also, some people don’t realize that herbal supplements are drugs. When you include these sources, it’s not uncommon for some people with diabetes to be taking three or even more drugs for their condition.

drugs

Drugs in any of these categories have side effects, some of which nobody discovers until many people start taking them. For example, half a million people were taking the prescription diabetes drug Rezulin 15 years ago when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned it after at least 63 of us died from the liver failure that it caused.

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