Yes, this truly is a “non-COVID-19” blog! It has been a long time since we posted something like this and we are truly excited to do so!
We have all taken care of residents with uncontrolled, type II diabetes, right? We adjust the oral medications unsuccessfully for as long as we can and then the physician writes orders for insulin. It is never a happy day when this happens, however, the goal is to maintain blood glucose levels in a safe range and prevent negative outcomes. Unfortunately, we also know that many times insulin is not successful either!
Then the hamster wheel begins…..we adjust the insulin dosage, the time of day it is given, review the dietary and current medication regimen, etc. and in the meantime the resident’s blood glucose levels are still outside of acceptable range. So, what do we do? The same thing, we start over, why? Because that’s all we have in our toolkit for managing blood glucose levels today.
Great news from a study posted in the May 11, 2020 journal of Nature Biomedical Engineering! This study found that managing blood glucose levels is more effective when insulin is used in combination with another drug “Pramlinitide”. What is interesting is that this drug and insulin were never able to be used in one injection as the two drugs “didn’t play well with others”. The science proved that the combination of drugs worked better however it required two injections and most patients weren’t interested in doing that. Now, scientists have found a way to “coat” the molecular structure of insulin and pramlinitide to allow them to be administered together in one injection. Yes, if the study is confirmed and trialed, the two medications will be compatible!
If you or someone you love is insulin-dependent this might be something to ask your physician about in the near future. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could provide a single injection of medication that would manage diabetes more successfully? It looks promising and because both medications are already in use in this country, the hurdles facing “new” medications are non-existent so stay tuned!