In a nutshell
This study examined whether lixisenatide (Adlyxin) was effective in patients with differing levels of beta cell function (the cells that produce insulin). The authors found that lixisenatide decreased blood glucose (blood sugar) levels regardless of beta cell function.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a progressive disease. Metformin (Glucophage) is generally the only glucose-lowering medication needed at first. Eventually, however, the beta cells in the pancreas no longer produce insulin (the hormone needed to break down glucose). As beta cell function decreases, other medications are often added in order to control blood glucose levels.
Lixisenatide is a treatment recently approved by the FDA. Lixisenatide improves insulin production and slows the emptying of the stomach following a meal. This treatment has been shown to significantly improve HbA1c levels (average blood glucose over 3 months). It is not yet clear whether it improves HbA1c in patients with decreased beta cell functioning.
Methods & findings
This study included 437 T2D patients. All received lixisenatide as well as metformin and/or a sulfonylurea (another type of glucose-lowering medication). Patients were treated for 24 weeks. For this analysis, patients were grouped according to their level of beta cell functioning (from low to high).
After 24 weeks of treatment, HbA1c levels had decreased in all patients regardless of beta cell function. HbA1c decreased by an average of 0.99% in the patients with the lowest level of beta cell function, and by 0.83% in those with the highest. Glucose levels 2 hours after a meal were also lowered with lixisenatide use, regardless of beta cell function. Patients with lower beta cell function tended to see larger decreases in glucose levels with treatment.
The bottom line
This study concluded that lixisenatide decreases blood glucose across all levels of beta cell functioning.
The fine print
This study was sponsored by Sanofi, the manufacturers of lixisenatide.
Published By :
Journal of Diabetes and its Complications
May 24, 2016
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