New Diabetes Drug may Help
Reported October 7, 2005
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — New research is turning up mixed results on the benefits of a diabetes drug.
British researchers studied 5,200 patients with type 2 diabetes and heart disease, half of who took the drug pioglitazone in addition to their regular medications. They found the pioglitazone patients had a slightly reduced risk of problems like heart attack and stroke but an increased risk of heart failure compared to patients who took their regular medications and a placebo.
Patients in the pioglitazone group were able to manage their diabetes longer before needing insulin compared to the placebo group.
Experts say more researcher is needed to determine the longer-term benefits of adding pioglitazone to standard treatment.
“Forty-eight patients would need to be treated for three years to avoid one first major cardiovascular event. This finding, however, might be an underestimate of the benefit of pioglitazone, since events subsequent to the initial are also reduced,” says study author John Dormandy of St. George’s Hospital, in London.
In an accompanying editorial, a Finnish expert says the study leaves many questions unanswered. “Overall, PROactive is an important study that leaves us with some good news, some bad news, and some unknowns. The clinician, of course, wants to know who should be treated with pioglitazone. Unfortunately, the study does not provide such answers,” says Hanelle Yki-Jarvinen of the University of Helsinki, in Finland.