Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Diabetes Drug May Treat Fatty Liver

Preliminary Study Shows Actos May Ease Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 30, 2006 -- Early research shows the diabetes drug Actos may help treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a common liver disease that currently has no drug treatment.

However, it's too soon to recommend Actos for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) patients, experts warn.

The researchers in this study wanted only to see if Actos was promising enough to deserve a larger, longer study on the possible benefits for NASH patients.

They concluded the drug passed that test.

What Is NASH?

NASH is liver inflammation, possibly with liver damage, caused by a buildup of fat in the liver. The condition can lead to cirrhosis, in which the liver can't function normally.

While it's not normal to have fat in the liver, most people with fatty livers don't have NASH.

The disease affects 2% to 5% of Americans, according to the National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

An additional 10% to 20% of Americans have fatty livers, but no liver inflammation or liver damage, says NIDDK.

NASH and other fatty liver conditions are becoming more common, possibly because of the rise in obesity, notes NIDDK.

NASH Study

The new study appears in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers included Renata Belfort, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The team studied 55 Texans with NASH. On average, patients were in their late 40s to early 50s and were obese, based on BMI (body mass index), which relates height to weight.

In addition to NASH, the patients also had type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, a condition which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar. In cases of insulin resistance, the body responds sluggishly to the hormone, requiring the body to make more insulin to control blood sugar.

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
kenneth fujioka, md
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Article
 
Middle aged person
Tool
jennie brand miller
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
feet
Slideshow