Independent reviews of new type 2 diabetes medicines
People with type 2 diabetes can find independent reviews of two new blood glucose lowering medicines in the latest edition of Medicine Update, a newsletter published by NPS – better choices, better health.
NPS (formerly known as the National Prescribing Service) is an independent organisation that enables people to be medicinewise.
The reviews of Januvia (sitagliptin) and Galvus (vildagliptin) outline who the medicines are suitable for, how they work and ways in which they differ from existing medicines for type 2 diabetes. Both articles also discuss possible side effects of these and other medicines for diabetes.
Karen Kaye, acting CEO of NPS, says anyone with type 2 diabetes who is considering one of these new medicines should read the Medicine Update before having a discussion with their doctor.
"Medicine Update provides people with an independent clinical review of new medicines in a language they can understand. It outlines clearly what people need to consider before starting these medicines and how the medicines differ from existing medicine choices," Kaye said.
"The medicines you take for your diabetes may change over time. For example, you might only need a single tablet to control your blood glucose initially, but diabetes tends to get worse as you get older. At some point your doctor may recommend that you take more than one type of tablet, or that you take insulin, or a combination of tablets and insulin. Each medicine will work in a different way to control your blood glucose level."
Both Januvia (sitagliptin) and Galvus (vildagliptin) are relatively new medicines available in tablet form. They can be used by people with type 2 diabetes whose blood glucose cannot be controlled effectively with certain other medicines. Neither medicine is designed to be taken on its own – you will need to continue taking your other diabetes medicine too.
Although both medicines have been through the required clinical trials and have been shown to lower blood glucose, they are quite new so it is not yet known if they can reduce the long term complications of diabetes.
"Before starting any new medicine talk to your doctor and pharmacist about how they work, potential side effects and whether it is definitely the best medicine for you. Educate yourself about your medicine options so you can have a well-informed discussion with your health professionals and be an active partner in your own health care," Kaye said.
To view the full reviews go to www.nps.org.au/medicineupdate.