Fred Bodimer

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- Washington University School of Medicine researchers find an investigational diabetes drug may have fewer side effects than other diabetes drugs.

KMOX Health Editor, Fred Bodimer, reports that this could eventually be great news to those with type 2 diabetes who have side effects from their current medication that include weight gain, bone fractures, and cardiovascular problems.

Lead researcher Dr. Brian Finck says this new experimental drug works through a different pathway that appears to avoid those side effects while still improving insulin sensitivity.

“They’re effective, but unfortunately, Avandia has a number of side effects that really limited its use. You have to have a special indication to use it in this country,” Dr. Finck says. “Actos also has some side effects that are starting to emerge. Therefore, even though these drugs are effective, we would really like to find new insulin sensitizing therapies that would have less side effects.”

This investigational drug that Washington University School of Medicine researchers studied is currently involved in clinical trials and appears to avoid those side effects.

However, Dr. Finck says even if it works well in humans, it will be some time before it is widely available. So far now, he says, lifestyle changes are the best hope for those who are at risk for diabetes.

“Diabetes is a chronic, progressive disease, and if you start taking these drugs to treat it, the likelihood is that you’re going to be taking it for a lifetime,” Dr. Finck says. “Any side effect that would happen with time is going to accumulate over the years as you continue to take it. The best way is to avoid it.”

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