Actos: Nipping Diabetes In The Bud?
A common drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes, pioglitazone, has been tested as a preventative for the disease among high risk persons. The results are very promising.
Pioglitazone, sold as Actos, is prescribed, along with changes in diet and exercise, to diabetics to reduce their body's insulin resistance. Researchers at the Texas Diabetes Institute and the University of Texas Health Science Center, undertook a study of 600 people with elevated blood sugar levels to see if pioglitazone would be effective in keeping diabetes at bay.
In addition to having high blood sugar levels, the subjects chosen for this study had at least one additional risk factor for diabetes, such as family history, being overweight, having high cholesterol, or having hypertension. Of the participants in the control group who took a daily placebo, 7.6 percent developed diabetes during the two year follow-up study, while 2 percent of those taking pioglitazone daily developed the disease.
Although other diabetes drugs have also been tested to control the onset of diabetes, the pioglitazone success rate was 72 percent, which was higher than its competitors; but lifestyle changes in diet and exercise have reduced risk by as much as 58 percent.
Most doctors recommend diet and exercise changes to 'pre-diabetic' or high risk patients, before they would drugs, as they are always a safer way to lower risk than diabetes drugs, which have side affects that may impair other aspects of a patient's health.