Lorcaserin currently used as a weight-loss drug could have diabetes preventive properties, it has been found to decrease the risk of diabetes and its complications in obese and overweight patients. The findings of this study are published In "The Lancet" journal.
Researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) found that lorcaserin reduced the risk of diabetes by 19 percent in patients with pre-diabetes, diabetic neuropathy -- a type of nerve damage that can occur with diabetes -- by 21 percent.
‘It was also found that Lorcaserin was able to reduce the risk of diabetic neuropathy by 21 percent’
It also led to induced remission of high blood sugar among diabetics and reduced the risk of diabetic microvascular complications such as microalbuminuria -- a moderate increase in the level of urine albumin.
Earlier, the researchers found "use of lorcaserin resulted in modest but sustained weight loss among obese and overweight patients without increasing risk of heart attack and stroke," said Erin Bohula from the BWH.
"Now we report that, when added to lifestyle interventions, lorcaserin significantly reduced the incidence of diabetes, increased rates of diabetes remission, and reduced the risk of diabetic microvascular complications," Bohula added.
For the study, published in the journal The Lancet, the team randomly assigned 12,000 overweight or obese patients at risk for a cardiovascular event were to receive either lorcaserin or a placebo.
The results showed that 9.5 percent of patients were able to achieve normal glycemic levels.
Lorcaserin also significantly increased the rate of remission of hyperglycemia in patients with diabetes, with 7.1 percent of patients on the drug achieving remission compared to 6 percent of patients on the placebo.
Lorcaserin also helped patients lower their weight by 4.2 kilograms (9.3 pounds) on average compared to 1.4 kg for placebo at one year.
"Taken together, these findings reinforce the notion that modest, durable weight loss can improve cardiometabolic health and supports the role of lorcaserin as adjunctive therapy in chronic weight management," said Benjamin Scirica, from the hospital.