Study: Avandia Helps Prevent T2 Diabetes In Low-Dose Combination With Metformin
By Mike Boyle

Researchers have revealed that low doses of GlaxoSmithKline`s diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone), if given in combination with the long-used diabetes drug metformin, can prevent type 2 diabetes.

The findings, reported in Lancet medical journal, come from a four-year Canadian study - dubbed "The CANOE trial (CAnadian Normoglycemia Outcomes Evaluation) - of 207 adults with impaired glucose tolerance, a sign of impending type 2 diabetes.

For the study, 103 participants were given 2 milligrams of Avandia once a day and 500 milligrams of metformin twice daily, while 104 people were given placebo pills.

The average follow-up time was 3.9 years, and during that time 14 percent of the drug combo group developed type 2 diabetes, while 39 percent of the placebo group did.

That translates to a 66 percent reduced risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes for the treatment group, according to the study which was funded by GlaxoSmithKline.

Additionally, reports Businessweek, 80 percent of those treated achieved normal blood sugar levels during the study compared to just 53 percent in the placebo group.

Researchers say that the encouraging study findings must be verified in larger clinical trials.

You may recall that Avandia has come under intense scrutiny from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration because it has been associated with an increased risk of heart failure and heart attack. Additionally, GlaxoSmithKline recently settled thousands of lawsuits with patients who claimed that Avandia causes heart attacks.

Read more about this Canadian study here from Businessweek, plus look over a summary of The CANOE trial in Lancet here.

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Originally posted June 3, 2010.

(Photo Credit: GlaxoSmithKline)