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Weekly Insulin injection for diabetics

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By Jo Willey, Health Correspondent: Now you can take Insulin injection once in week instead of daily. A SIMPLE weekly jab that will ­revolutionise the lives of millions of ­diabetes sufferers is now available on the NHS.


The ground-breaking £18-a-week treatment will end the misery of twice-a-day injections while improving patients’ blood glucose levels.

The drug, called exenatide, can be given to people with Type 2 diabetes who cannot get their condition under control with currently avail­able pills. It is a slow-release version of the previously available version of exenatide, called Byetta, and mimics a hormone in the body.

The national drug rationing body has now recommended once-weekly exenatide – called Bydureon – be made available to all patients.

Its approval has huge implications for the health of the nation as Type 2 diabetes affects 2.5million people and unhealthy lifestyles are set to send the numbers soaring.

At the moment, people whose blood glucose levels are not brought under control with tablets face having 14 injections a week – two a day – to regulate it. But exenatide can now be given just once a week and has found to be just as effective.

The ground-breaking £18-a-week treatment will end the misery of twice-a-day injections while improving patients’ blood glucose levels

The decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence was welcomed by the charity Diabetes UK because it gives more treatment options to the millions with Type 2 diabetes.

Simon O’Neill, director of care, information and advocacy at the charity, said: “We welcome this guidance because we strongly feel that a weekly injectable exenatide will widen the treatment options for people with Type 2 diabetes who may be struggling to achieve good diabetes control.

“For people who are currently using exenatide and injecting it twice a day, the possibility of instead doing it once a week could really improve their quality of life.”

Exenatide is the first in a new class of medicines known as incretin mimetics, which stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin in response to raised blood sugar and also influence digestion and appetite. Makers Lilly believe at least 60,000 patients will be treated with drugs including exenatide in England and Wales this year alone.
his is around 3.5 per cent of those with the condition who are treated with medication and the number is likely to rise in coming years.

Exenatide copies a hormone found in a lizard from Mexico.

The two-foot-long pink and black Gila Monster lizard has a chemical in its saliva similar to a human ­hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.

The Gila lizard eats only three or four times a year but the compound exendin-4 helps it digest slowly.

This quality was reproduced ­synthetically to create exenatide.

The drug helps the body produce more insulin when needed, reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver when it is not needed and reduces the rate at which the ­stomach digests food.

( Courtesy: )





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