Drug Helps Type 2 Diabetics Lower Blood Sugar, Lose Weight

Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus may see a reduction in blood sugar levels and body weight with empagliflozin treatment, according to data from Eli Lilly and Company and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) may see a reduction in blood sugar levels and body weight with empagliflozin (Jardiance) treatment, according to data from Eli Lilly and Company and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The manufacturers’ data demonstrated that Jardiance tablets lowered hemoglobin A1C, a measure of average blood sugar over 2 or 3 months, as well as body weight and markers of abdominal fat in patients with T2DM, as compared with placebo.

"In addition to high blood sugar, adults with type 2 diabetes often struggle with comorbidities such as being overweight or obese," said Christophe Arbet-Engels, MD, PhD, vice president of metabolic clinical development and medical affairs at BIPI. "The new data presented at the [American Heart Association’s Scientific Session 2014] support the need for further research into the possibility that Jardiance, which is used with diet and exercise to lower high blood sugar, may also modify abdominal fat and body weight."

Compared with placebo, patients taking Jardiance experienced an A1C reduction by 0.64%, body weight reduction by about 3.7 lbs, improvements in 3 markers of visceral fat, and waist circumference reduction by 1.3 centimeters at week 12.

However, total body fat percentages were not significantly reduced—only 0.2% from a baseline of 35%.The FDA approved Jardiance in August 2014 for use in conjunction with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with T2DM. It is not approved to reduce body weight, and it is not recommended for people with type 1 diabetes.