Researchers at the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center say the fat-blocking drug Xenical may help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
In a study funded by Xenical manufacturer Hoffman-Laroche Inc., data was analyzed from three clinical trials involving 675 obese patients to determine whether the drug can help patients manage a sustained weight loss program.
Of the 16 million people currently diagnosed with diabetes in the United States, approximately 12 million of them are overweight or obese with type 2 diabetes, making weight loss an issue of primary concern. Weight loss and exercise are frequently recommended by doctors as a way for patients to reduce weight and their diabetes symptoms.
The St.Luke’s-Roosevelt study suggests Xenical, whose side effects include fatty or oily stools and fecal incontinence, may help the weight loss process along. In all three clinical studies, patients treated with Xenical showed better weight and blood sugar control than those treated with a placebo. Only three percent of the subjects treated with Xenical developed diabetes, as opposed to the 7.8 percent who were given the placebo. Of those who were on their way to contracting type 2 diabetes, almost 73 percent brought their blood sugars back into the normal range, as opposed to the 49.1 percent who relied on the placebo and weight loss alone.