Two Drugs Beat One in Type 2 Diabetes

Combining the widely utilized drug metformin and an SGLT2 inhibitor is more effective at reducing blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, according to new research.

According to Dr. Susanne Neschen, lead author of the study that has been published in the journal Diabetes, each drug appears to boost the beneficial efficacy of the other. Such an effect could have implications for diabetes prevention and diagnosis, as well as treatment.

SGLT2 inhibitors eliminate sugar by way of the urine, helping to reduce blood sugar levels. Our body reacts to this loss by boosting sugar production in the liver. That's where metformin comes in. Metformin slows down the production of sugar. Thus, in combination, the two drugs can bring about a decrease in blood sugar that is longer-lasting than either drug alone.

"The combination of drugs effectively reduces the blood sugar," says Neschen, "and particularly the blood sugar peaks after meals. In diabetic mice, the double therapy produced an improvement in the long-term blood sugar level HbA1c within only two weeks."

The combination appears to produce a minimum of side effects, further suggesting that it could help patients who have had trouble on other type 2 diabetes treatments.

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The study showed that both drugs boost the effectiveness of the other.