Arthritis Drug Helps Diabetes

Just saw this on my local news and wanted to share with all of you. Might be something good for us Type 2’s.

BOSTON (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Doctors have turned back the clock more than 100 years to rediscover a drug that can help the more than 15 million people in the United States with type 2 diabetes. It’s one drug that may provide twice the relief.

Mary Ann Provost’s pain from diabetes and arthritis nearly stopped her from suiting up for one of her favorite activities.

“I was seriously doubting whether I was going to do any golf,” she told Ivanhoe. Now doctors believe relief may be found in these pills.

“I think it’s a miracle drug,” Provost said. “I really do.”

The drug called salsalate is currently approved to treat joint pain, but researchers say it may have a dual purpose for those with type 2 diabetes.

“We’ve shown that using the drug for short periods of time can lower blood sugars both before people eat and after they eat and their average blood sugar measurements over time,” Allison Goldfine, M.D., clinical research head at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Mass., explained to Ivanhoe.

Doctors say just like it reduces inflammation in joints, salsalate does the same in other tissues. That in turn, may lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

After a little more digging, doctors realized they had landed on a path that was forged more than 100 years ago. A medical journal dating back to 1876 reported using salicylate, the simple form of salsalate, to treat a patient with diabetes.

“It’s one of those rare moments in doing science where we actually can say, ‘Ah, ha! We made a discovery!’ There’s something new here,” Steven Shoelson, M.D., Ph.D., a medical researcher at Joslin Diabetes Center said.

Provost’s blood sugar levels are stable and healthy and her arthritis is under control.

“I’m a different person,” she described.

Doctors say salsalate has a good safety profile and is inexpensive. Broader studies on the drug were just completed in 13 states. Researchers plan to release the findings in a couple of months. A much larger trial is planned for later this year and will be conducted at 20 sites across the nation.



Here’s more info on it

Actually, here is the wikipedia link to salsalate. It references a Wall Street Journal Health Blog. I will see if I can come up with anything from that to post as well.

Wall Street Journal Blog entry

A generic, aspirin-like drug called salsalate might help diabetics and people at risk for diabetes.

If the concept proves successful in larger tests, it could be a boon not only for those in the Western world looking for new drug options, but also for those in the developing world, where the rate of diabetes is rising but many can’t afford expensive branded drugs.

In a 20-patient, month-long study, the fasting glucose levels of those who took salsalate declined 13% compared with those who took a placebo. The results, published in the Feb. issue of Diabetes Care, suggest that the drug reduces blood sugar in obese adults who don’t have diabetes, apparently by making insulin work better.

The intriguing findings are the latest from a series of small studies by a group of researchers at Harvard and the Joslin Diabetes Center. (The paper first appeared online in October.) Earlier research suggested the drug could also help control blood sugar in those who have already developed diabetes.

So what does a pain-killer have to do with blood sugar? Researchers think it may be a biochemical pathway called IKK/NFkB that is associated with inflammation — and may also play a role in the development of insulin resistance, common in type 2 diabetes, in which insulin stops working as well as it should. By throwing a roadblock on this pathway, salsalate appears to improve insulin’s function.

Aspirin has a similar effect, but only at doses that create a risk of internal bleeding, Allison B. Goldfine, one of the authors of the paper, told the Health Blog. Salsalate has a much lower bleeding risk. Ringing in the ears, is among its most common side effects, though that typically goes away if a patient is shifted to a lower dose.

In the past salsalate was a common treatment for arthritis, especially before the development of Cox-2 inhibitors, Goldfine said. “We dosed it until people had ringing in the ears,” then lowered the dose, she said.

Now Goldfine and her colleagues are launching three larger, longer-term trials — studies lasting about three months and enrolling 100 or more patients each — funded by the National Institutes of Health and the VA. (One is described here.)

If the data continue to be good, salsalate could be added to the armamentarium of anti-diabetic drugs. And it could come with a double bonus unheard of in a new drug — cheap generic pricing, and decades of safety data. That’s particularly reassuring with the clouds over some diabetes medicines, such as GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia and Rezulin, which was withdrawn from the market in 2000. “To me as a clinician, when I prescribe a new drug I say, ‘What’s the 10-year risk of taking a new class of agents?” Goldfine said. “I’m very reassured by the history of this drug and the knowledge that it’s used extensively.”

One more reason for us diabetic to eat old fashion diet. Most Nuts, Veggie, Fruit contains enough salicylate. Here is the list

thanks to all of you for the info. very interesting. will be looking into follow-up infro