(RxWiki News) For many people with diabetes, medications play a key role in blood sugar control. While there are many drugs available, not all patients benefit from these drugs.
That's why it's important to keep exploring options.
"Ask your doctor about drug options for your diabetes."
Recently, Vivian A. Fonseca, MD, of Tulane University Health Sciences Center, and colleagues tested the effectiveness of lixisenatide alone in type 2 diabetes patients.
They found that patients who took lixisenatide once a day had significantly improved blood sugar levels, particularly after breakfast.
They also found the drug to be relatively safe. Only 1.7 percent of patients taking lixisenatide had hypoglycemic (dangerously low blood sugar) episodes - a similar percentage to that of patients taking placebo. The most common negative side effect was nausea.
For the study, patients who were assigned to take lixisenatide were split into two groups: a two-step dose increase group and a one-step dose increase group. The two-step group took 10 micrograms (μg) of lixisenatide for one week, 15 μg for one week, then 20 μg. The one-step group took 10 μg for two weeks, then 20 μg.
Patients in the two-step group reduced their levels of HbA1c (a measure of blood sugar over time) by about 0.54 percent. Those in the one-step group improved their HbA1c by about 0.66 percent.
About half of lixisenatide patients got their HbA1c below 7.0 percent, a blood sugar goal for most diabetes patients. Nearly 32 percent of the two-step group and 25.4 percent of the one-step group reach an HbA1c level of 6.5 percent or less, the marker for diagnosing diabetes. In comparison, 26.8 percent of placebo patients reached an HbA1c of less than 7.0 percent, and 12.5 percent reached an HbA1c of 6.5 percent or less.
Patients in both the lixisenatide and placebo groups had a similar amount of weight loss.
These findings suggest that a one-step dose increase regimen of once-daily lixisenatide can improve blood sugar control in patients who cannot control blood sugar through lifestyle changes alone.
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - which included 361 patients with type 2 diabetes - is published in Diabetes Care, a journal of the American Diabetes Association.
Two researchers involved in the study - Gabor Boka, MD, and Patrick Miossec, MD - are employees of Sanofi.