A new study finds the drug dalteparin is beneficial for diabetic patients with severe foot ulcers. Chronic foot ulcers cause a lot of suffering for diabetic patients and are one of the most expensive diabetic complications. This common complication can threaten the life and limb of the diabetic patient. A new study led by investigators from Karolinska Hospital in Sweden reveals at the effect of the drug dalteparin on foot ulcers in diabetic patients.
For the study, 87 patients were randomly assigned to receive either injections of dalteparin or an injection of a saline solution each day for up to six months. Researchers tracked each patient's progress to see if the foot ulcer healed or if the patient ended up needing their foot amputated.
Researchers report the patients on dalteparin fared much better than the patients receiving the saline solution. Specifically, 29 patients of the 43 on dalteparin had their ulcers healed or at least saw a 50 percent improvement. In contrast, 20 of the 42 patients in the placebo group saw an improvement. Five patients in both groups had their ulcers get worse. As for amputation, two patients in the dalteparin group had their foot amputated compared to eight in the placebo group.
Study authors write, "The present study shows for the first time that treatment with dalteparin improves the ulcer outcomes in diabetic patients." Researchers add these results need to be confirmed in a larger trial. However, they say the positive effects of this drug on ulcer healing could affect the costs and care of diabetics.