Insulin Surpasses Oral Drug

Published Online: Wednesday, October 1, 2003

    In an effort to determine if insulin treatment is more effective than oral therapy for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, Swedish researchers conducted a study of 39 patients. A majority of the adults who develop type 2 diabetes are usually treated with an oral drug such as a sulfonylurea to improve their responsiveness to insulin or to increase insulin output. The researchers noted in Diabetes Care (August 26, 2003) that there have not been many studies ?that rigorously compare the effects of sulfonylurea versus insulin treatment on the deterioration of insulin secretion in type 2 diabetic patients.?

    Therefore, the participants were randomly treated with insulin or glibenclamide. A year later, the output of insulin in response to a rise in glucose had increased in the insulin group and decreased in the glibenclamide group. Also, control of blood glucose levels improved in both groups. In the second year, however, blood glucose levels stabilized in the insulin group but got worse among those treated with glibenclamide.

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