SUNDAY, November 11, 2018 – Farxig's Diabetes Drug could give patients a double duty to help prevent another killer, heart failure, shows new research.
Type 2 diabetics using Farxiga found that the likelihood of hospitalization for heart failure declined by 27 percent compared with those taking placebo, according to a study funded by Astra-Zeneca. The compound is called dapagliflozin.
"As to help our patients control and control glucose in the blood," how "seems equally important [as] "how much," said study author Dr. Stephen Wiviott, Cardiovascular Medicine Specialist at Brigham and Boston Women's Hospital.
"In selecting therapy, test results such as these can help us make informed choices about what treatment is not only safe and effective for lowering blood glucose but can also reduce the risk of heart and kidney complications," Wiviott said in a hospital report .
The findings were published on Nov. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with their presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago.
A new study included more than 17,000 patients with type 2 diabetes aged 40 years. Almost 7,000 patients had heart disease, and more than 10,000 had many risk factors for heart disease, Wiviott said.
Patients were randomly assigned to "dummy" placebo pills or 10 milligrams of Farxiga every day.
Drug use did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular deaths. However, patients taking the drug experienced a healthy fall in blood sugar plus an increased bonus: a 27% reduction in the risk of hospitalization for heart failure.
Their risk of kidney failure and death from kidney failure also dropped, the Boston team said.
Farxiga is a type of medicine called SGLT2 inhibitor. Two more recent studies of this drug class show that they "robustly and consistently improve their hearts and hearts [kidney] results in a broad population of diabetic patients, "Wiviott noted.
One cardiologist who was not involved in the study said the findings are welcome news for people with diabetes.
"It is sad that more than 70 percent of deaths in diabetic patients come from cardiovascular causes," Dr. Cindy Grines, Head of Cardiology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.
She noted that in the past there was concern that some diabetes drugs could damage the heart, but this new study shows that "new drugs are now available that have beneficial cardiovascular effects."
Grines noted that the accumulation of fluids is a hallmark of heart failure. And because Farxiga works by increasing urinary glucose excretion, it is not surprising that it reduces heart failure. "
However, she found it surprising that the drug did not diminish the heart attack or stroke.
However, it has been shown that conventional treatment of diabetes with metformin reduces the risk of these heart attacks. So "I would choose [Farxiga] add to metformin in patients with congestive heart failure, "Grines added.
According to Grines, patients with heart problems should avoid one class of diabetes in particular.
"More studies have shown that sulfonylurea drugs – glipizide, glyburide and glimepiride – increased cardiovascular mortality, heart attacks and congestive heart failure," explains, "so that sulfonylureas should not be used in all patients with heart disease."
Another cardiac expert has agreed that newer drugs such as Farxiga improve the treatment of people with type 2 diabetes.
Farxiga is "a welcome addition to our equipment for reducing heart failure," Dr. Marcin Kowalski, a cardiologist at the Staten Island University Hospital in New York. "It is also encouraging that this group of drugs does not increase [negative] cardiovascular outcomes. "
The American National Institute for Diabetes and Gastrointestinal Disorders has more information on diabetes treatment.
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