Knowledgeable weighs in on latest diabetes medicines


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Over 34 million Americans have diabetes, and obesity plays a major role in people with type 2.

For these patients, existing and emerging drugs are helping people lose weight and even improve their cardiovascular health.

When Sandra Penny’s doctor recommended these drugs to her, she was not surprised.

She was diagnosed with diabetes 25 years ago. She struggled to control the disease by losing weight, as did several family members.

“My mother, my father, my brother,” she said, referring to the fact that they were all diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The endocrinologist Dr. Paul Jellinger of the Hollywood Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Care said the latest drug under study is a monoclonal antibody that shows benefits in lowering blood sugar and inducing weight loss.

“That reduction in hemoglobin A1C and a good degree of weight loss, about six to seven percent, with no meager body weight loss, it was all adipose tissue, is a nice result,” he said.


However, he cautioned that this sample was small and that it could take years for this particular drug to become available.

The good news is that there are other drugs out there that can do the same thing and more.

“The GLP-1 antagonist drugs are known to induce satiety early, so people taking these drugs may feel full and leave their plates halfway through a meal,” Jellinger said.

Patients also get less hungry between meals with these drugs and are also less at risk of heart attacks, he said.

Another class of drugs causes patients to skip excess glucose, and therefore excess calories.

“What is really unique about this class of drugs is that these drugs not only safely lower blood glucose by peeing out the glucose in the urine, lower blood sugar and control diabetes, but they also have very powerful benefits in reducing the incidence of congestion in heart failure .


This class of drugs, known as SLG-2 inhibitors, can also protect the kidneys.

“So they achieve their original purpose, but they do a lot more,” said Jellinger.

Sandy didn’t have high expectations when she started the medication, but was pleasantly surprised with the results.

“I’ve lost about 20 pounds total. They say 12 but I lost 20 and I’m happy, ”she said.

The latest research on a monoclonal antibody drug to reduce fat mass is in the preliminary stages. So it can take some time to get approved.

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