Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Drug Helps Lower Blood Sugar

Study: Injectable Drug, Called Byetta, May Lower High Blood Sugar in Patients Taking Other Diabetes Drugs
Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

April 2, 2007 -- The injectable diabetes drug Byetta may lower poorly controlled blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes, a new study shows.

However, the study was "much too small and much too short," states an editorial published with the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study included 233 overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes in the U.S., Canada, and Spain.

When the study started, the patients were already taking the diabetes drugs Actos or Avandia. Some were also taking the diabetes drug metformin.

However, the patients' blood sugar levels were still too high, according to hemoglobin A1c tests, which show blood sugar control over the previous six to 12 weeks.

Diabetes Drug Study

The researchers included Bernard Zinman, MD, of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. They randomly split the patients into two groups.

Patients in one group were assigned to give themselves two daily injections of Byetta for 16 weeks in addition to the diabetes drugs they were already taking.

For comparison, patients in the other group gave themselves two daily injections of an inactive liquid (placebo) for 16 weeks, in addition to their other diabetes drugs.

None of the patients knew whether they were giving themselves shots of Byetta or the placebo.

At the end of the 16-week study, the patients took hemoglobin A1c tests

Study's Results

During the study, the patients taking Byetta lowered their average hemoglobin A1c level by almost 1 point.

That brought their average hemoglobin A1c level near the upper limit recommended for people with type 2 diabetes.

The Byetta group also lost about 3 pounds during the study, even though the researchers hadn't asked patients in either group to diet, exercise, or make other lifestyle changes.

In comparison, the placebo group didn't improve their average hemoglobin A1c level and didn't change weight in the study.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

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.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article