JUL 11, 2018 2:56 AM PDT

Blood Pressure Medication 'Verapamil' Stimulates Insulin Production

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A common blood pressure medication, verapamil, may improve outcomes for patients with Type 1 diabetes.

According to researchers at the University of Alabama (UAB) at Birmingham Comprehensive Diabetes Center, diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans. Now, research at UAB has led to the discovery of a "safe and effective novel therapy to reduce insulin requirements and hypoglycemic episodes in adult subjects with recent onset Type 1 diabetes."

Furthermore, verapamil, which is administered orally, will allow the patient's body to produce their very own insulin which limits the number of insulin injections needed.

"While this research is not an end-all cure for Type 1 diabetes, these findings are getting us closer to disease-altering therapies that can enable individuals with Type 1 diabetes to have more control over their disease and maintain some of their body's own insulin production," said Anath Shalev, director of UAB's CDC.

Published in Nature Medicine, the research team at UAB found a way to promote the patient's own beta cell function and insulin production.

When Shalev discovered that verapamil reversed the effects of Type 1 diabetes, human trials began.

Over a year, the clinical trials studied 24 patients between the ages of 18-45. 11 of these patients received the blood pressure medication and the other 13 received a placebo.

"Although this is a smaller sample group, our trial results give us promise that subjects with Type 1 diabetes have therapy options and that we are nearing a more effective way to deal with this disease," said Fernando Ovalle, director of UAB's Comprehensive Diabetes Clinic and co-principal investigator of the study. "Beyond verapamil allowing subjects with Type 1 diabetes the ability to live a life with less external insulin dependence, these findings will impact the quality of life that they can have."

By improving blood sugar control, patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes will experience fewer heart attacks, blindness, kidney disease and other issues.

 

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
SEP 21, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
WHO Endorses Clinical Trials for Herbal Medicines to Treat COVID-19
SEP 21, 2020
WHO Endorses Clinical Trials for Herbal Medicines to Treat COVID-19
The World Health Organization has endorsed a protocol to put African herbal medicines through clinical trials as possibl ...
SEP 29, 2020
Cardiology
Improving Acute Myocardial Ischemia Treatment with Nitro Fatty Acids
SEP 29, 2020
Improving Acute Myocardial Ischemia Treatment with Nitro Fatty Acids
Acute myocardial ischemia occurs when blood flow is restricted in the heart. This usually leads to cardiovascular issues ...
OCT 14, 2020
Immunology
Self-Healing Microcapsules Make Promising Leukemia Vaccines
OCT 14, 2020
Self-Healing Microcapsules Make Promising Leukemia Vaccines
Leukemia is a cancer affecting tissues in the body that produce blood cells, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic ...
OCT 09, 2020
Technology
Deep Learning Advances Drug Design
OCT 09, 2020
Deep Learning Advances Drug Design
Computational data is advancing all areas of medicine and pharmaceutical drug development is certainly no exception. &nb ...
NOV 01, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
NOV 01, 2020
Can Cannabis Treat ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative illness that damages motor neurons and leads to progressive m ...
NOV 15, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Drug Stimulates Female Fertility
NOV 15, 2020
Drug Stimulates Female Fertility
A recent drug, MVT-602, was found to stimulate fertility by acting on the natural 'kisspeptin' hormone system in ...
Loading Comments...