Type 2 diabetes drug could prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19 if taken up to six months before infection, study finds 

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  • A study has found that the diabetes drug GLP-1R agonist can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death from the virus up to six months before infection.
  • Taking the drug can reduce the risk of hospitalization by 33% and the risk of death by 42%
  • Like many other diabetes medicines, the drug also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help combat some of the serious side effects of the virus.
  • Diabetics are at increased risk of complications from covid and these findings may be important for increasing their survival rate

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A new study finds that a type 2 diabetes drug can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death when taken months before a COVID-19 infection.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that patients with type 2 diabetes who contracted Covid by using glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists to treat their condition had better health outcomes.

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GLP-1R agonists are a class of drugs with anti-inflammatory properties that are often used to treat inflammation of the body tissues of certain diabetics.

Patients with type 2 diabetes who were taking the drug were 33 percent less likely to be hospitalized and 42 percent less likely to die within 28 days of COVID-19 infection.

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Diabetic patients are at increased risk of complications due to Covid, making these findings promising news for diabetics in the US.

The diabetes drug GLP-1R agonist (pictured) showed it can reduce the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 by 33% and the risk of death if used within the first six months of infection 42 % may be reduced, a new study finds

Diabetics are at increased risk of serious complications such as hospitalization and death from COVID-19.  Pictured: A doctor treats a COVID-19 patient at an Apple Valley, California, hospital

Diabetics are at increased risk of serious complications such as hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Pictured: A doctor treats a COVID-19 patient at an Apple Valley, California, hospital

The researchers, who published their findings on 27 September diabetes journal, collected data from 30,000 type 2 diabetics who contracted Covid between January and September 2020.

They compared the rates of patients using GLP-1R agonists to a control group of more than 23,000 participants.

Drugs such as dulaglutide, exantide, semaglutide and liraglutide all fall under the GLP-1R drug category.

The drugs have anti-inflammatory properties that are helping to prevent some of the worst effects of the COVID-19 infection.

Many medications for diabetes can inhibit inflammation, as diabetics often struggle with inflammation of body tissues.

The researchers also collected data on two other types of type 2 diabetes drugs with anti-inflammatory properties, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and pioglitazone.

DPP-4 inhibitors showed a low risk of respiratory side effects from the virus, but had little ability to prevent hospitalization or death.

Pioglitazone showed potential to prevent hospitalizations, but little to prevent deaths in the most severe cases.

The GLP-1R agonist, which also showed the ability to prevent respiratory side effects by 38 percent, was the most effective and the only one that reduced the risk of death.

Researchers are optimistic about the findings, but want to see more data from the drug before they consider it a true Covid treatment.

‘Further research is needed to confirm whether GLP-1R agonists protect against serious COVID-19 complications,’ said study co-author Dr Nazia Raja-Khan and associate professor of medicine at Penn State. can do. said in a statement.

‘There is also a need to determine whether these drugs can be protective and how they can be used safely during COVID-19 hospitalization.’

The team is calling for randomized clinical trials to test the drugs’ ability to prevent the most severe cases of COVID-19.

‘Our results are very promising as GLP-1R agonist treatment appears to be highly protective, but more is needed to establish a causal relationship between the use of these drugs and a reduction in the risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. Research is required. ’ said Dr. Patricia Grigson, professor and chair of the Department of Neurological and Behavioral Sciences at Penn State.

Researchers still recommend the COVID-19 vaccine, as it is the most effective way to prevent infection, serious complications, or death from the virus.

Dr Raja-Khan told DailyMail.com in an email, ‘Vaccination is the best protection against serious illness and death from COVID-19.

Diabetics may be at higher risk than others if they suffer a successful infection, and those who use GLP-1R agonists may have an increased chance of survival.

“Vaccines have been shown to reduce hospitalization and death from COVID-19,” said study co-author Dr Jennifer Nayland, assistant professor of neuro and behavioral sciences.

‘But the scientific community continues to search for treatments that may complement vaccination by reducing the risk of hospitalization, respiratory complications, and death from COVID-19 in at-risk patients with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes.’

While the drug’s anti-inflammatory properties may be effective in preventing serious complications from Covid, the researchers do not recommend its use to non-diabetics.

Nyland told DailyMail.com in an email, ‘We absolutely do not recommend that people use drugs that have not been thoroughly tested and are considered safe and effective for treating symptoms of COVID. goes.

‘We don’t know what this drug does in people who don’t have type 2 diabetes.’

If successful, the diabetes drug could join mollupiravir, a drug recently developed by Merck, which is currently seeking emergency use authorization for it, as a drug known to contain some of the worst effects of the virus. Can be taken before infection to prevent.

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