Medications

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Medications can be a big part of diabetes treatment but how do we know which medication to take? We can ask our doctor and hope that they have experience with the medication they are prescribing. We could scour the internet to find "honest" reviews of each medication but how do we get past all the marketing jargon to find real results? RateRx from HealthTap is trying to solve this problem.

Drug Companies Cooperate To Search Out New Diabetes Drugs

Bottles

By pooling their brightest minds and best research, ten big drug companies hope to decipher diseases in ways each hasn't been able to do on its own.

Under a five-year collaboration the ten companies together with the National Institute of Health (NIH) have agreed to share scientists, tissue and blood samples and data. The diseases that are under joint investigation are Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.

DPP-4 Inhibitors or Incretin Enhancers

DPP-4 inhibitors are now available from various companies. DPP4 inhibitors work by blocking dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-4), an enzyme that breaks down gut peptides, especially GLP-1. Unlike GLP-1 agonists that increases GLP-1 action, DPP-4 inhibitors work indirectly to raise GLP-1. Blocking DPP-4 makes GLP-1 levels rise and increases insulin release after meals and when glucose levels are high. However, inhibition of DPP-4 also causes levels of GLP-2, GIP, and other gut peptides to rise.

GLP-1 agonist, like Byetta and Bydureon can help treat Type 2 Diabetes

GLP-1 agonists are a group of medications that mimic the actions of glucagon-like peptide or GLP-1. GLP-1 is one of several naturally occurring incretin compounds that affect the body after they are released from the gut during digestion. Because of its name, GLP-1 might seem to act like glucagon that increases glucose production by the liver and raises glucose levels. Instead, GLP-1 lowers both glucose and glucagon levels. Despite their different actions, GLP-1 and glucagon are both derived from the same parent compound called proglucagon, hence the similarity in names.

Prandin and Starlix (Rapid Insulin Releasers)

Two drugs in this class are now available – Prandin, derived from benzoic acid and approved by the FDA in 1997, and Starlix, derived from D-phenylalanine and approved in 2000. They raise insulin levels rapidly by stimulating the beta cells by mechanisms different from the sulfonylureas. They enhance insulin release from the pancreas over a short period of time only when the glucose level is high. Therefore, the risk of hypoglycemia is reduced. Their activity more closely mimics normal first phase insulin release when food is eaten by a person without diabetes.

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