Drug Helps Lower Blood Sugar
Study: Injectable Drug, Called Byetta, May Lower High Blood Sugar in Patients Taking Other Diabetes Drugs
WebMD News Archive
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
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
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
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
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.