Sanofi-Aventis' Accomplia (rimonabant), a new drug for treatment of obesity, has been found to control blood sugar and reduce risk of cardiac problems in people with diabetes type 2. The research was done on 1,047 overweight or obese patients with type 2 diabetes in Europe and south and North America.
Some of them were given 5 or 20 mg/day of rimonabant, while the others were treated with a placebo, for a 1 year period. Those on the drug showed a vast improvement in terms of weight loss, abdominal fat and waist size reduction and controlled blood sugar levels, and better appetite.
Professor Andre Scheen of the University of Liege in Belgium said that these findings support the usage of 20 mg of the drug daily, along with diet and exercise for treating the disease. The findings have been published online by the Lancet Medical Journal.
These effects of Accomplia reduce the risk of heart disease , stroke, renal damage, blindness and neuropathy which can lead to amputation of the foot. About 194 million people worldwide have diabetes mostly of the type 2 variety . This type is caused by an inability to regulate the glucose in the body properly, and is linked to being overweight or obese.
The standard drugs used are effective in controlling blood sugar levels but lead to weight gain, which makes the illness difficult to treat. Accomplia with its cardiovascular and metabolic effect could prove to be very useful , felt Scheen. It is generally well tolerated , the side effects being nausea, vomiting and anxiety.
The drug has a potential sales of over $3 billion worldwide and Sanofi considers it as its most promising new drug. It is being marketed in Britain, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Ireland, Finland and Austria.