Reducing blood sugar works best with drug duo, study finds


The combined effects of metformin and SGLT2 inhibitors work better than one drug alone to help reduce blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes, report researchers in the journal Diabetes.

The two substances appear to reinforce the beneficial effects of each other, suggesting this approach could have significant implications for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.

Medications work together to lower blood sugar levels

SGLT2 inhibitors help the body eliminate sugar in the urine, which reduces blood sugar. Yet the body reacts to this loss by increasing sugar production in the liver. Metformin addresses this problem by slowing down the body's sugar production. Together, the two substances can create a drop in blood sugar that lasts longer than the effects of just one of the drugs.

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

Since the combo also has been shown to produce minimal side effects, it could be helpful for individuals who have had problems with other diabetes drugs.

Source: Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen - German Research Centre for Environmental Health


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