A newer, longer-acting form of Byetta (exenatide) that is given once weekly actually achieves better blood sugar control in diabetics than does the standard formulation, which is given twice daily, according to a report in The Lancet.
In a new study, Dr Daniel J. Drucker, from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, US, and colleagues compared the two formulations, both of which are injectable drugs, in 265 patients with type 2 diabetes. The doses of the long-acting and standard formulations of Byetta were 2 mg once a week and 10 micrograms twice a day, respectively.
At 30-week follow-up, patients treated with the long-acting formulation showed significantly better blood sugar control than did those given the standard formulation.
Moreover, 77% of patients given the long-acting formulation achieved their goal sugar levels compared with 61% of subjects who received the older formulation.
No risk of low blood sugar
These benefits were achieved without increasing the risk of excessively low blood sugar levels or compromising weight loss.
The results suggest that the newer, long-acting Byetta formulation "offers a promising treatment option for the management of type 2 diabetes," Drucker and colleagues conclude.
"When the once-a-week (Byetta) formulation becomes available, after confirmation and extension of today's positive results, this new strategy might substantially change the management of type 2 diabetes," Dr Andre J. Scheen, from the University of Liege in Belgium, comments in a related editorial. - (Reuters Health)
SOURCE: The Lancet, September 8th online 2008.