Researchers may have invented a way for diabetes mellitus type 2 patients to get their basal insulin by simply popping a tablet rather than injecting themselves.
If you have diabetes mellitus type 2 and dread the basal insulin shots, you might soon be in luck. Researchers announced they’ve successfully created a basal insulin delivery system where you swallow a tablet by mouth and the basal insulin is released and absorbed in your small intestine.
They ran clinical trials to see if their newly created oral basal insulin tablet is as effective as the basal insulin shot. In one study, 50 diabetes mellitus type 2 patients who couldn’t adequately manage their blood sugar levels using metformin (and other oral diabetes mellitus medications) were separated into two groups. For two months one group was instructed to take the new oral basal insulin tablets thrice daily. The other group was instructed to continue their basal insulin shots as normal.
To keep the participants blind to the study, both were also given tablets and shots that contained a placebo – so both were getting tablets and shots daily, but only one form contained real medication. Both groups were allowed to continue their metformin treatment, but most other oral diabetes mellitus medications were stopped for the duration of the study.
After the two months were over, the oral basal insulin tablet group’s fasting blood sugar levels dropped to about 73.71 percent of what they were during the start of the study. The basal insulin shot group’s fasting blood sugar levels dropped to about 73.78 percent of what they were during the start of the study.
The researchers concluded that the slight difference in effectiveness is negligible and insignificant, stating that the oral basal insulin tablets are as effective as the basal insulin shots. They also found that the oral basal insulin tablets are safer than the basal insulin shots because they caused 50 percent less hypoglycemic events (episodes when your blood sugar falls too low) than the basal insulin shots.
But these researchers don’t think this particular study’s results should be widely embraced just yet. They say more clinical trials are needed because the current study’s duration is too short and with only a small sample of diabetes mellitus type 2 patients. It’s always possible that side effects and other adverse interactions can come to light with a larger sample size of diabetes mellitus type 2 patients who take the oral basal insulin tablets for a longer period of time.
You can still look forward to the near future when you’ll hopefully never have to prick yourself with a basal insulin shot to keep your blood sugar levels normal, while instead simply pop a tablet or two in your mouth!