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AACE: Exenatide May Lower Insulin Requirements

Last Updated: May 14, 2009.

Patients with type 2 diabetes may be able to safely and effectively reduce their insulin requirements with exenatide therapy, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, held from May 13 to 17 in Houston.

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 2 diabetes may be able to safely and effectively reduce their insulin requirements with exenatide therapy, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, held from May 13 to 17 in Houston.

Grant Chu, M.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues studied 18 diabetics on insulin who started exenatide between April 2006 and April 2008, including 12 who were compliant with exenatide therapy.

After 12 months, the researchers found that premeal insulin was discontinued in five of the seven patients who initially required it, and that long-acting insulin was discontinued in three of the 11 patients who initially required it and reduced by a mean of 18 units in seven other patients. Two patients discontinued exenatide due to gastrointestinal side effects, and two patients developed mild hypoglycemia.

"The use of exenatide with insulin therapy in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus has not gained widespread acceptance due to concerns over hypoglycemia," the authors write. "Our data showed a significant decrease in weight as well as a decrease in both short- and long-acting insulin requirements in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus on insulin therapy treated with exenatide. Additionally, the incidence of hypoglycemia in patients on both exenatide and insulin therapy was noted to be similar to the expected incidence of hypoglycemia with exenatide therapy alone."

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