Can drugs be used to prevent Diabetes?
In the American Diabetes Prevention Study one group was treated with metformin and this drug led to a 30% reduction in New Onset Diabetes in subjects with IFG (Impaired fasting glucose) or IGT (impaired glucose tolerance). In the STOP NIDDM study, Acarbose (Prandase or Precose) treatment of individuals with IFG or IGT led to a 25% reduction in New Onset Diabetes. Another interesting side note is that there was a dramatically lower incidence of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in the treated group. Since Acarbose works by lowering post prandial (after meal) hyperglycemia; it is postulated that reducing post prandial hyperglycemia (which is what we see in IGT) will reduce cardiovascular risk.
In the Xendos Study, treatment of obese subjects with IGT or IFG with Orlistat (Xenical) also lowered the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Dr. J. Robin Conway M.D. 23 Feb 2004