Study: Exenatide may tout anti-inflammatory effect

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A drug commonly prescribed to Type 2 diabetics to improve blood-sugar control also may have a rapid anti-inflammatory effect, according to results from a small study conducted by researchers at the University of Buffalo.

The 12-week study — which involved 24 obese Type 2 diabetics who already were on insulin to control their glucose levels — was led by Paresh Dandona, UB distinguished professor of medicine at the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Dandona and colleagues undertook the study based on their previous observations (published in 2007) that indicated exenatide as having an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing plasma C-reactive protein levels, triglycerides and systolic blood pressure.

In this study, the researchers discovered that patients experienced a short-lived anti-inflammatory effect — that was independent of weight loss — within two hours following a single injection of 5 mcg of the drug. Dandona said the effect "may lead to the inhibition of atherosclerosis, the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and gangrene in diabetics."

The study of the drug, marketed under the trade name Byetta, was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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