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New Diabetes Drug Has Lingering Safety Concerns

Ava Lawson | January 16th, 2013

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Diet Plan for DiabeticsA new diabetes medication may enter the market as early as April, if the FDA grants approval for Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana – one of a new class of medicines known as SGLT2 inhibitors. Known by its generic name of canagliflozin, the drug could be useful for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. However, early research has panelists concerned about the risks of heart attack, stroke and urinary tract infections which were reported during the first year of testing. These side effects could prove troublesome for patients with kidney damage, a common condition in diabetics.

While medicines have proven invaluable in the long-term treatment of diabetes, many patients have found great success in managing diabetes with diet and weight loss. By shedding excess pounds, overweight individuals can help stabilize blood sugar levels, thus reducing the need for expensive and potentially dangerous medications. Holistic programs such as those offered at the Center for Medical Weight Loss instruct patients on the benefits of a physician-supervised diabetes diet. Combined with supportive counseling and moderate exercise, the Center’s weight loss programs have even helped in reversing diabetes in some patients.

Diabetes drug pending FDA approval

According to recent news reports, the FDA will decide whether to approve U.S. sales of canagliflozin by March 31, 2013. While the medication seems to be on the fast-track for endorsement, FDA officials still caution on the potential adverse effects on the kidneys, as well as fungal growth in the perineum and bacterial build-up in the urinary tract of trial patients who took the drug.

Canagliflozin functions by increasing glucose excretion in urine and blocking re-absorption of sugar by the kidneys. In the past, the FDA has required companies making new diabetes drugs to monitor and report cardiac side effects in patient testing. Since prescription diabetes medications are ingested for many years, their long-term effects need to be evaluated prior to release. Avandia, a popular diabetes drug, has since been linked to cardiac arrest, and has been banned in some European countries.

Regarding the approval of canagliflozin, Dr. Thomas of the Henry Ford Hospital stated, “There are definitely benefits to this drug, there are also risks.”

Diabetes diet and weight loss provides safe alternative

Among the millions of Americans who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, many have turned to medical weight loss to help manage or even reverse their condition. Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and Chief Medical Officer of The Center for Medical Weight Loss, confirms that many of his patients who achieve a healthy weight have been able to go off their medication entirely. By incorporating a doctor-guided diabetes diet with one-on-one sessions for additional counseling, patients can win their battle with the disease.

With more than 450 clinics throughout the nation, the Center for Medical Weight Loss has helped thousands of patients lead healthier lives – without the need for diabetes drugs. To find a clinic in your neighborhood, please enter your zip code in the box to the right. Be sure to check out testimonials from people who have successfully lost weight, and remember that special introductory offers are available for first-time visitors in select locations.