Are Weight Loss Meds the Next Diabetes Treatment Option?

Are Weight Loss Meds the Next Diabetes Treatment Option: Physician representatives for the makers of drugs Qnexa, Lorcaserin and Contrave all believe that the next stage in the battle against Type 2 diabetes will be in the area of managed weight loss.

The drugs listed above are involved in investigative trials. A report in MedPageToday suggests, “All three showed improvements in risk factors besides obesity, including blood glucose, blood pressure, and Triglycerides.”

In other words the use of these drugs resulted in weight loss accompanied by a reduction in risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

A new term has been coined that describes the condition many face in America – Diabesity. Medical science has long been aware of the link between being overweight and the development of diabetes. The premise of this approach to diabetic care is to manage a primary contributor to disease conditioning. By reducing personal weight patients may either avoid diabetes or reduce symptoms in a post diagnosis scenario.

Dr. Christen M. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D. is a vice president of clinical development for drug maker Arena Pharmaceuticals. He presented findings on Lorcaserin by saying, “We had dramatic improvements in insulin resistance and in biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. In terms of weight loss, 47.5% of patients on the drug lost at least 5% of their body weight, compared with and 20.3% of those on placebo, and 22.6% lost at least 10% of their body weight compared with 7.7% of placebo patients. After two years, patients on the drug maintained a significantly greater amount of weight loss compared with those who had switched to placebo after one year.”

Researchers are especially pleased to discover the trials seem to show the drug does not pose side effects of either depression or suicidal thoughts.

Meanwhile Qnexa demonstrated hemoglobin A1c level reductions for those who have diabetes as well as those deemed prediabetic.

MedPageToday reported, “Among diabetic patients, those on the drug had a 1.6% reduction in HbA1c from baseline, compared with 1.1% for patients on placebo. The patients also experienced significant reductions in blood pressure and Triglycerides, as well as better reductions in fasting plasma glucose.

“Patients on the drug had a significant reduction in antidiabetic medication use compared with controls, as well as significant improvements in fasting glucose, systolic blood pressure, and waist circumference. ”

Dr. Louis Aronne, M.D., of Weill-Cornell and New York Presbyterian represents Qnexa and is quoted as saying these drugs could, “Halt the progression towards type 2 diabetes.”

Most researchers were optimistic that these drugs could be used in future care of diabetes.

If there is any concern associated with what appears to be good news it may be that the benefit of these drugs could lead those who already live a sedentary lifestyle to assume there is no need and little benefit to physical activity if a prescribed drug could manage to improve health while reducing the waistline.

Most health care providers still strongly encourage patients to engage in exercise. Short bursts of vigorous physical activity can help flush excess blood glucose from your body and allows your body to stabilize glucose levels. It can also result in the flushing of toxins from your body through sweat and released endorphins that can lead to a better feeling about life in general.

These advances in weight loss medications may be a catalyst to other meaningful lifestyle changes for the diabetic or those who may be heading that direction.