Learn which commonly prescribed and over-the-counter drugs can cause dangerous interactions if you have diabetes.

 

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If you have diabetes and take other prescription and non-prescription drugs, it’s time to evaluate your medications. It’s very common for those with the condition to take other drugs in addition to their diabetes medications. When certain meds are mixed together, however, the result is not always a positive one. In fact, certain drug interactions can produce harmful reactions that end with a trip to the hospital. Though not inclusive, take a look at the following list of commonly-used drugs. If you are taking any of these medications, make sure you discuss their use with your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Continue Reading Ten Medications to Discuss with Your Doctor Before Taking if You Have Diabetes

A new study explores whether antibiotic usage increases the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

 

 antibiotics

A recent study in Denmark regarding antibiotic use and diabetes has created quite a buzz. Researchers found that in the years prior to their diagnosis, people with Type 2 diabetes took more antibiotics than those without it. This, of course, doesn’t prove that antibiotics cause the disease, but it still might make more people question their usage of such medication.

Frequent Use in America

Classified as “medicines used to treat infections and diseases caused by bacteria,” antibiotics are said to be prescribed to four out of five Americans each year. The aforementioned study showed that those with Type 2 diabetes were overexposed to antibiotics when compared to those without, not just before their diagnoses, but afterward as well. Researchers’ findings showed that taking an antibiotic of any type increased patients’ likelihood of getting a diabetes diagnosis by 50 percent if they had filled five or more prescriptions.

It remains unclear if the higher risk is because diabetes might develop over time, increasing the risk of infections (and the need for antibiotics) before a person is even diagnosed with diabetes. It could also be that the risk for diabetes increases if a person has repeated infections or exposure to antibiotics.

Animal Study Findings

When researched in animals, it has been found that antibiotics affect sugar and fat metabolism and also alters gut bacteria. Since there is ongoing speculation that gut flora and antibiotics could be linked to how the body metabolizes sugar and the development of diabetes, the findings of the Denmark study haven’t necessarily surprised many. Because diabetes is increasing in incidence globally and remains a challenge in the health care world, further studies will be made into how exactly antibiotic use corresponds with the disease.

What It Means

The primary takeaway is that anyone — with or without diabetes — should always be cautious when prescribed an antibiotic. Only take them when necessary and always under the guidance of your physician. As you continue on your journey of managing your diabetes, you’ll likely have questions about your insulin pump and other diabetes supplies. Let the trained experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy help. We have over 50 years of combined experience helping people just like you live life with diabetes fully. Check us out at www.focuspharmacy.com or call 1-866-403-6287.

 

Living with type 1 diabetes is a constant battle. Those afflicted with the disease are all too familiar with the painful finger pricks and close monitoring required to help them manage their sugar levels. Type 1 diabetics are extremely susceptible to hypoglycemia – a severe drop in blood sugar. Hypoglycemia has several unfavorable consequences such as seizures, coma, or even death.  Unfortunately, insulin alone cannot control glucose to the extent needed, as both insulin and glucagon are required to maintain the proper sugar levels.

While insulin has long been available for use by pump or injection, glucagon has not been readily available to diabetics in a stable form. Glucagon is a hormone produced by the pancreas that raises blood glucose levels. It is the counterpart of insulin, which lowers blood glucose levels by helping glucose move out of the blood and into the cells of the body where it can be used as energy. The problem with type 1 diabetes is that glucagon function in the pancreas fails, typically within eight months of the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. With nothing to buffer severe insulin drops, patients are left with an option of emergency glucagon injections if hypoglycemia should occur.

Right now, the only portable form of glucagon is a mixture of powder and liquid that, once mixed, must be used immediately. However, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University and Legacy Health have discovered a form of liquid glucagon that may be effective in standard diabetic pumps. Although it is not fully tested, it is a tremendous step forward in the development of a fully automated artificial pancreas system. This device would be able to deliver both insulin and glucagon, closely replicating a normally functioning pancreas.

Such research is very promising. Glucagon may be available in an emergency kit, but it is advised that only those with training should perform the injections, which can leave a diabetic patient at significant risk if no trained professional is nearby when an injection is needed. The ability for diabetic to have an insulin pump linked to computer software that provides the necessary amount of insulin, glucagon, and other hormones would be invaluable.

People with type 1 diabetes are required to maintain balanced insulin levels at all times. Unfortunately, despite the dedicated monitoring of blood sugar, patients spend too much time outside optimum glucose levels. The possibility of stable glucagon that can be used in a pump is revolutionary. It will open doors for enhanced therapies and allow those with type 1 diabetes a chance at a better life. 

 

In a recently presented study, researchers have found that the commonly used and inexpensive medication Metformin,  inhibited the growth of most tumor cells in a variety of cancers including melanoma, pancreatic, lung, and prostate cancer.

Pancreatic patients who were prescribed Metformin had a 32 percent reduced risk for death compared to those not prescribed the drug, according to a study led by Dr. Dongui Li, professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Another study of melanoma patients, led by researchers at the Institute for Cancer Research in London, found that Metformin alone contributed to the growth of cancerous tumors in mice – but when combined with other inhibitors,axitinib and bevacizumab, tumor growth was suppressed by up to 64 percent.

 Soon, health regulators will add warnings to the labels of all "statin" drugs to indicate that they may raise levels of blood sugar and could cause memory loss. Cholesterol lowering drugs such as Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor will see changes to the safety information found on their labels.

"The value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established," Amy Egan, deputy director for safety in FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products, said in a statement. "Their benefit is indisputable, but they need to be taken with care and knowledge of their side effects."

Patients with Diabetic Macular Edema, a swelling of the retina that occurs in people  who suffer from diabetes retinopathy, have experienced significant  and prolonged sight improvement with injections of Roche’s Lucentis. In fact,  better than 50% of the patients with DME who received monthly injections of Lucentis over 2 years improved so significantly that they would qualify for a driver’s license in most states! Currently, Lucentis is indicated for wet age-related macular degeneration.

"This is a real game changer. This can give you a rapid prolonged improvement of vision and it’s sustained for at least two years," Dr. David Boyer, who presented the data on Tuesday at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) meeting in San Diego, said in a telephone interview.

Pharmacies soon will no longer be able to stock the Diabetes drug Avandia.

After November 18th, only certified doctors will be able to  prescribe the drug and only patients who know the risks and are willing to fill their prescription through the mail from specific pharmacies may receive the drug, USA Today reported. In case you were not aware, FDA drug-safety expert David Graham told an advisory committee in 2007 that Avandia had caused heart problems, including deaths, in 66,000 to 200,000 people.

 

More research is needed but over a period of five years, 138 instances of bladder cancer were reported from patients taking diabetes medications. Over 28 of these patients were taking Actos (pioglitazone). This suggests a "disproportionate risk" in comparison with other anti-diabetics, said study author Dr. Elisabetta Poluzzi of the University of Bologna in Italy."Disproportion is indicative of possible risk," Poluzzi added, "not of an actual risk."

The FDA has said patients should not stop taking Actos unless told to do so by their doctor.

 

Researchers at the Salk Institute have recently discovered that the liver enzyme HDAC stimulates the production of glucose. In a series of trials performed on four different types of mice, scientists have found a way to suppress liver HDAC (histone deacetylases) which will hopefully lead to trials on humans.

"The discovery of HDAC (histone deacetylases) in the liver could have a major impact on the discovery of new compounds for the treatment of diabetes," said Robert Henry, president for science and medicine at the American Diabetes Association. "A new class of drugs that are specific inhibitors of HDAC would target the excess production of glucose by the liver which is a major contributor to high glucose levels in diabetes."

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