A new study has found that a new diabetic drug helped improve blood sugar control and also promoted weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes.
The drug Acomplia (Rimonabant) which is produced by French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis, was trialled in the United States and six other countries, involved 278 patients, over a six month period.
It was found to also have an effect on other risk factors such as levels of good and bad cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides.
For the study, called SERENADE (Study Evaluating Rimonabant Efficacy in Drug-Naive Diabetic Patients), the researchers involved people who were not taking any other medications for their diabetes.
Dr. Julio Rosenstock, director of the Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Center at Medical City and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, who was a member of the research team, says the study suggests that Rimonabant can improve blood glucose levels with the added benefit of significant weight loss and improvement in other risk factors.
Rosenstock says current medications for type 2 diabetes are often associated with weight gain but Rimonabant has a different mode of action from the oral anti-diabetic medications presently used.
It seems Acomplia switches off the same brain circuits that make people hungry when they smoke cannabis.
Adverse effects include dizziness, nausea, anxiety, depressed mood and headaches and were found to be at 9.4 percent for those on Acomplia and 2.1 percent for those on placebo.
This study is the second to find that Rimonabant improves blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes; an earlier study, funded by Sanofi-Aventis, was published online Oct. 27 in the journal The Lancet.
Sanofi is the world's third-largest drugmaker.
Rimonabant is approved in Europe but has not been approved in the United States.
The findings were presented at the World Diabetes Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.