People suffering from diabetes are often prone to weight problems or obesity in some cases. While medication is aimed at controlling blood-sugar levels, it can also have an inadvertent side effect of increasing the person’s weight.
However, a new tablet developed for type 2 diabetics may be useful in helping people lose weight. It is expected to be on the market from this month.
Dapagliflozin, developed by scientists at Aston University, Birmingham, is being developed and marketed by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The drug acts independently of insulin to improve blood-sugar levels but can also lower body weight.
The drug is one of a range of new treatments called sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT2) inhibitors. These reduce glucose re-absorption into the kidney with excess sugar then being passed out through the urine.
Scientists say dapagliflozin also helps to reduce weight, but whether it can be used in this way as a standalone product is unknown.
Lead researcher at Aston University, Professor Clifford Bailey, told reporters dapagliflozin works differently to current treatments, removing excess glucose from the body and associated calories. He said the tablet can be used aid the most common diabetes medications in lowering blood glucose and has the added benefit of aiding weight loss.
The fact that dapagliflozin has the added benefit of weight loss may encourage further research into this specific area.