dr.Zaid Mohammed Ali Fakhruldin.....Verapamil Hope for Reversing Diabetes

Kufa University/ Pharmacy Faculty                                                    March/ 2016                        Clinical Pharmacy Department


Verapamil Hope for Reversing Diabetes

By Zaid Mohammed Ali Fakhruldin, Public Pharmacist, Clinical Pharmacy Department, Kufa University.

The worldwide increased epidemic “Diabetes” does not have a definitive treatment, so researchers are continuously attempting to explore novel strategies for helping diabetic patients.

Recent studies of mouse models of type1 diabetes, verapamil, a commonly used medication for treating hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, and migraine, has shown decreased β-cell apoptosis and enhanced endogenous insulin levels, essentially rescuing mice from the disease.

The first human study to examine whether verapamil lowers glucose in humans (as it does in mice), this old drug was indeed associated with significantly lower fasting blood glucose levels among participants with diabetes from a population-based cohort, controlling for a host of covariates.

This was an observational study of a subset approximates to 5000 patients who had diabetes and were participating in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke(REGARDS) study, by Dr.YuliaKhodneva, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and colleagues, was published online February 12 in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.

Among these patients who had type 1 diabetes or late-stage type 2 diabetes (i.e., were taking insulin or insulin plus an oral anti-diabetic agent), those who also received verapamil had fasting serum glucose levels that were 24 mg/dl lower than their peers who were not receiving verapamil (P = .039).

This 24-mg/dl difference in fasting serum glucose is "dramatic," since it is roughly equal to an HbA1c drop from 8% to 7% (where 7% is the American Diabetes Association treatment target), Dr.Khodneva told Medscape Medical News.

More answers should be forthcoming about 18 months from when results start to emerge from "the repurposing of verapamil as a beta-cell survival therapy in type 1 diabetes" randomized controlled trial that fellow researchers at UAB are conducting.

That study has so far enrolled 20 adults aged 18 to 45 with recent-onset type 1 diabetes (of a planned enrollment of 52 such patients), to see whether 12 months of daily oral verapamil will improve insulin production.

Finally, I hope that this trail will reveal positive results and affecting the clinical setting in the right manner.


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