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June 8, 2010

Other Medications

Question from Faridabad, India:

Recently, I heard about otelixizumab, that it could be effective in treating newly onset diabetes if administered during 90 days of the onset of the disease. While I know that I may or may not help my daughter, I want to know how can I help her in reduce her insulin dosage. She currently needs around 80 units of insulin per day and has put on a lot of weight in spite of exercising all types of controls and using proper insulin. Would otelixizumab be of any benefit to my daughter?

Answer:

The drug you are asking about is one of the new experimental medications that may or may not help in the autoimmune attack that targets the beta cells of the pancreas in type 1 diabetes mellitus. It is unknown if it will work, what the short term or long term side effects are likely to be until more extensive testing occurs is properly run therapy trials.

If your daughter is overeating, then this may be the reason for higher doses of insulin being required as part of an insulin resistance pattern. The key would be accurate dietary records and direct observation plus working with a skilled diabetes team including a nutritionist on these issues. A review of blood glucose levels and A1c results would also answer the question of appropriate insulin management. Checking thyroid function would be sure to help decide if subtle hypothyroidism was related to unexpected weight gain but this is rather rare without lots of other signs and symptoms at the same time.

SB