Twice-daily use of diabetes drug Januvia (sitagliptin) in combination with metformin significantly improved blood sugar control in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics, according to a new study.
Researchers reported that 67 percent of the 748 patients who continued past 24 weeks in this study achieved an HbA1C goal of less than seven percent on a combination of Januvia and metformin compared to 44 percent of patients who took metformin alone and .
The aim of the 54-week study was to assess the longer term efficacy and safety of initial combination therapy with Januvia and metformin in patients with type 2 diabetes with inadequate glycemic control (A1C of 7.5 percent to 11 percent).
As might be expected, the combination treatment was particularly helpful for patients in the study whose starting HbA1C levels — a measure of glucose-control — were the highest, the researchers reported.
Researchers reported a mean reduction of 3.1 in diabetics who started with a baseline A1C of more than 10, while those with a baseline A1C of between 9 and 10 reductions had a mean reduction of 2.2. those with a baseline A1C between 8 and 9 had a mean reduction of 1.7, and those with a baseline A1C of less than 8 had a mean reduction of 1.
"Many patients may require initial combination therapy, and this study provides important and useful information about the use of sitagliptin and metformin, in addition to diet and exercise, in order to achieve and maintain blood sugar control," said Dr. John Amatruda, vice president, clinical research, Merck & Co., Inc.
Presented Sept. 18th at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.