Flexibility for Diabetics

For type 2 diabetics, a strict regimen of daily medication and carefully planned meals has traditionally been the key to warding off an imbalance in blood-sugar levels. However, the latest drugs are making life a little easier.

Diabetes has not been kind to Ms Perez. She has had organ failure and is legally blind. Nevertheless, day-to-day life is now getting a little easier, thanks to a new drug called Starlix.

Perez says, “I feel good. I feel healthy. I feel energetic.”

She takes the drug right before she eats. If she has to skip a meal, she simply skips the drug, too. Diabetics take traditional diabetes drugs once a day and can wreak havoc if they skip a meal.

Endocrinologist, “Excessive sweating, tremors, palpitations, light-headedness, and actually if it’s severe enough, profound enough, the patient can pass out.”

Growing number of doctors prescribe Starlix, and a similar drug, Prandin, for patients who want flexibility in their daily routines. Diabetes affects the lives of the patients so drastically, and it is such a burden on the patient and their quality of life and their family members, that any medication is a big breakthrough.

Like traditional diabetes drugs, Starlix and Prandin help the pancreas produce insulin. That insulin can be dangerous if a patient does not eat. The new drugs act quickly — during a meal — then wear off.

Perez says, “Because I’m maintaining a more normal blood sugar, I’m having less effects from diabetes.”

Therefore, while the new drugs will not cure diabetes, they just may make it more manageable.

These drugs aren’t for everyone. Patients with highly predictable schedules, such as the elderly, may prefer to take a traditional diabetes medication once a day, instead of trying to remember a pill before each meal and worrying about it wearing off quickly.

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