Acomplia Cuts Diabetes Patients' Risks
Experimental Weight Loss Drug May Have Benefits for Type-2 Diabetes
WebMD News Archive
June 12, 2006 -- Acomplia, an experimental weight lossdrug,
helps obese people with type 2 diabeteslose
weight, reduce waist size, and even control blood sugar and blood fats.
Surprisingly, Acomplia's beneficial effect on blood sugars and fats went 57%
beyond the benefit that would have been expected from weight loss alone. The
drug, which affects the body's cannabinoid system, appears to reduce
interrelated risks for heart and metabolic diseases.
The benefits seen were in addition to the benefits of standard, ongoing
treatment with Glucophage or the family of diabetes drugs called sulfonylureas.
Researcher André Scheen, MD, PhD, head of diabetes at the University of Liège
in Belgium, reported the findings at this week's annual meeting of the American
Diabetes Association, held June 9-13 in Washington.
"These findings support the use of [Acomplia] for reducing
cardiometabolic risk in patients with type 2 diabetes, and show that the
benefits achieved are additional to those of background oral antidiabetic
therapy," Scheen and colleagues wrote in their presentation abstract.
The findings come from an international clinical trial of more than 1,000
men and women with diabetes. The average study patient was 56 years old and
obese, with a 43.3-inch waistline. At study entry, patients' average hemoglobin
A1c (HbA1c) level was 7.5%. HbA1c measures average blood sugar levels over the
past three months. Normal HbA1c levels range from 4% to 6%.
Acomplia lowered HbA1c levels by 0.6%. That may not sound like much, but
recent studies indicate every 1% increase in HbA1c raises the risk of death --
from all causes -- by 24% for men and 28% for women.