Large-Scale Study into Diabetic Medications Looks Good for Saxagliptin
It’s been a major concern to health practitioners for the last few years- are medications for the treatment of diabetes actually increasing the patient’s risk of heart attack and hospitalisation? A large-scale study into the question has now published its results and they make for some very interesting reading.
The trial, Saxagliptin Assessment of Vascular Outcomes Recorded in Patients with Diabetes mellitus (SAVOR-TIMI 53), was a large-scale, international, randomized, placebo-controlled study focusing on saxagliptin (which is one of the most common drug treatments for type-II diabetes). Saxagliptin works by controlling the glucose levels in the blood, reducing the need for insulin and preventing high levels of protein in the urine (which can lead to kidney damage). The volunteers were split into three groups with one receiving saxagliptin, one receiving selective didpeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor and one receiving a placebo.
It was mainly the risk of heart attack that was being measured but other effects were noted. The team found that there was no fewer or greater numbers of patients requiring hospitalization for heart attack in the study group that were taking saxagliptin.
SAVOR-TIMI 53 was run over 788 sites in 26 countries and enrolled 16’492 patients. To be included, volunteers must have had type-II Diabetes mellitus as well as a high risk of cardiovascular disease. The trial did show that the saxagliptin group had a higher rate of hospitalization overall when compared to the other treatment arms, so the data suggests that further research is needed.
This trial shows that the need for a sufficient, long-scale follow up on diabetes medication is vitally important. All diabetic medications are taken for a long period by the patient and as such the effects on the body need to be quantified over a long period.
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Image of insulin is provided courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org