In the history of medical science there have been numerous medications that were designed for one purpose, yet found success treating something entirely different. This is true of the drug Viagra and it may be true of Fenofibrate (brand names include Antara, Fenoglide, Lipofen, Lofibra, TriCor, Triglide).
This drug was designed to prevent heart disease. Long-term research shows that it did not work effectively to take care of this issue in a preventative way. What this ultimately means for most drugs is they would be set aside and rarely prescribed. In most cases they are pulled from the shelves and discontinued. Fenofibrate may be making a comeback, but not as preventative medicine for heart disease.
Research based in Australia, New Zealand and Finland followed 9,795 patients and discovered that the use of Fenofibrate may actually be a potent drug that seems to significantly reduce the potential of amputations among Type 2 diabetics. This study was conducted over a five-year period.
Current statistics indicate about 10% of Type 2 diabetics will lose at least a part of a lower limb to amputation. Fenofibrate could reduce the instance of the need for invasive surgery and long-term rehabilitation.
The truth is this information was buried in a 2005 study that was designed to prove or disprove Fenofibrates ability to serve as a heart drug. When the results showed it did not, the study was set aside. A new look at this study revealed findings that had been overlooked because it was not the original intent of the study.
Some amputation risk groups saw as much as a 50% decline in amputations when compared to others who were not taking Fenofibrates. The Lancet journal interpreted these findings; “Treatment with fenofibrate was associated with a lower risk of amputations, particularly minor amputations without known large-vessel disease, probably through non-lipid mechanisms. These findings could lead to a change in standard treatment for the prevention of diabetes-related lower-limb amputations.” Patients at risk for a first time amputation saw a 36% decrease when using Fenofibrates.
The Lancet also reported, “Fenofibrate has previously been shown to reduce macrovascular and microvascular complications of type 2 diabetes.”
This report suggests that a drug that has already proven helpful to Type 2 diabetics may actually provide greater support and amputation prevention than originally thought.
Medical science has moved toward statin-based drugs to help patients prevent heart disease. Fenofibrates could realistically be used to provide new support it had not previously been given credit for when used in conjunctions with statins.
As medical science moves forward in learning how drugs interact with our bodies and work to provide support for greater health the onus will still remain on the topic of education. In many cases diabetes can be avoided, prevented or delayed by participating in a lifestyle alteration that includes understanding how food interacts with your body and why physical activity is important in the process of effective glucose control.
In many cases a less active lifestyle is the norm in the 21st century. It can take concentration and dedication to buck the normal trend of a sedentary lifestyle in order to embrace one that includes more activity and a healthier variety of food. The end result is almost always positive and can often be managed without drugs.
However, when a diabetes diagnosis is given you will need to consider the possibility of a medical regimen to help you reach goals in managed care. The effects will be even greater when you become an active partner in your own care.