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July 20, 2005

Pills for Diabetes, Weight and Weight Loss

Question from India:

I am 45 years old and weigh 95 kg (209 pounds). Although I usually follow a healthy diet, if I eat improperly, my blood sugar rises. I think I have insulin resistance. What medications do not promote weight gain? Metformin works, but only if when following a strict diet. At those times when I do not eat well, can I take a Xenical, 120 mg and acarbose, 50 mg to help? My doctor has said this is acceptable. Once, when I did not eat a well-balanced meal, I took a Xenical, 120 mg, acarbose, 50 mg, and metformin, 500 mg. My blood sugar remained in the normal range. I do not understand why such a course of action is harmful. Can you explain this?

Answer:

The use of Xenical and acarbose have been tested when used continuously, not intermittently. The acarbose can work rapidly. However, I am not sure there is good data to say how well. The Xenical has to be used chronically to help with weight loss, specifically. The Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. has recently approved a new medication, Byetta, that is given as an injection. It is an analog of glucagon-like-peptide-1. This medication, when used twice a day, lowers the hemoglobin A1c by roughly 1% and induces weight loss of up to 7 to 10 pounds. This would be a potential drug for you to help with this.

JTL