New research suggests that adding the type 2 diabetes drug liraglutide to insulin therapy can help improve blood sugar control for obese adults with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes.
Liraglutide, more commonly known as Victoza, is a non-insulin injectable medicine that is currently only approved for use by adults with type 2 diabetes.
However, a study conducted last year by US researchers revealed that the drug is beneficial for patients with well-controlled type 1 diabetes, when used together with insulin.
To investigate whether patients with poorly controlled type 1 diabetics would respond to liraglutide, the same group of scientists put 27 obese adults with type 1 diabetes who had poor blood sugar control on a course of liraglutide, plus their usual insulin therapy, for six months.
Following the combined treatment period, significant improvements in the participants’ diabetes control was reported, with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels falling from an average of 7.9 per cent to 7.5 percent, while the typical daily dose of insulin required fell from 73 to less than 60 units.
The research team also noted considerable reductions in patients’ body weight, body mass index and systolic blood pressure – factors which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease for 40 to 50 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes .
Paresh Dandona, MD, director of the Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York, Williamsville, and lead author of the study, said the findings could finally lead to the type 1 diabetic population being offered “a medication besides insulin .”
He added that larger randomized clinical trials were now needed to further examine the use of liraglutide as a treatment of type 1 diabetes .

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