Wednesday , August 15 2018
Home / Resources / Articles / Verapamil Studied in Prevention, Development of Diabetes

Verapamil Studied in Prevention, Development of Diabetes

Nov 14, 2014

Trial will study calcium channel blocker thought to decrease protein production and protect against development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes…

How helpful was this article? (Please vote.)

Pancreatic beta cells are responsible for insulin production. The death of beta cells is an important step in the pathogenesis of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. According to Dr. A. Shalev, there is now evidence that verapamil, a calcium channel blocker often used in patients with high blood pressure, could not only prevent type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but reverse the severity as well. The study in patients with diabetes and the efficacy of verapamil is scheduled for next year and would initially last at least a year.

The treatment will create an environment where beta cells are allowed to survive, possibly improving insulin production as seen in the mice models. The mice were completely protected against diabetes. Previous studies have shown a protein called thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) increased in beta cells in response to high glucose levels. TXNIP levels can also be increased by insulin resistance or increased demand on the beta cell. Verapamil theoretically inhibits TXNIP and protects against type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The study will be a randomized trial with 52 patients between the ages of 19 and 45 with diabetes diagnosed within a 3-month timeframe. Participants will receive either verapamil or a placebo for one year while continuing with insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring. Dr. Shalev is not expecting any miracles in the new study since the trial is only treating patients for one year and any positive evidence of beta cell survival or regeneration will take a long time.

Practice Pearls:

  • A new study will be conducted next year for the efficacy of verapamil in type 1 diabetes.
  • Positive effects of verapamil in type 1 diabetes have shown in mice models.
  • TXNIP is a protein associated with an increase in glucose production.

Mol Endocrinol. 2014:28:1211-1220. Article