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The Effects of Salsalate on Blood Sugar Control in People With Type 2 Diabetes FREE

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The summary below is from the full report titled “The Effects of Salsalate on Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. A Randomized Trial.” It is in the 16 March 2010 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 152, pages 346-357). The authors are A.B. Goldfine, V. Fonseca, K.A. Jablonski, L. Pyle, M.A. Staten, and S.E. Shoelson, for the TINSAL-T2D (Targeting Inflammation using Salsalate in Type 2 Diabetes) Study Team.

Ann Intern Med. 2010;152(6):I-40. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-152-6-201003160-00001
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What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Drugs to treat type 2 diabetes help lower blood sugar levels. Because most diabetes drugs are not effective enough by themselves or have side effects, people often need to take several drugs to control their blood sugar levels, and scientists are always looking for safer and more effective agents. Salsalate is a drug related to aspirin that has fewer side effects than aspirin. Research has suggested that salsalate reduces blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Before salsalate can be recommended as a drug that people should take for diabetes, the best dose of the drug needs to be determined, as does its safety when taken over a long time.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To compare the ability of different salsalate doses to control blood sugar levels and assess the drug's safety over time.

Who was studied?

108 people with type 2 diabetes.

How was the study done?

After observing participants who received consistent diet and exercise for 4 weeks, the researchers gathered information about participants' health, including their control over blood sugar levels and other measures of their metabolism. They then randomly assigned equal numbers of the participants to 3 different salsalate doses or to placebo in addition to any other diabetes drugs they were receiving. The researchers observed participants for another 14 weeks to assess changes in blood sugar control, weight, and metabolism.

What did the researchers find?

After 14 weeks, participants who received salsalate had better blood sugar control than those who received placebo. They also showed improvement in some measures of risk for heart disease, but they tended to develop more protein in their urine. No single salsalate dose seemed safer or more effective than another.

What were the limitations of the study?

Studying 108 people for 14 weeks moves this area of research forward but does not provide enough evidence to recommend that people use or not use the drug. For example, some measures of risk for heart disease improved, but the increase in urine protein may be an early sign of kidney damage. Too few participants were observed for too short a time to make conclusions.

What are the implications of the study?

Salsalate improves blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes. No single dose seems safer or more effective than another. The safety of the drug will require further testing; additional studies are ongoing.





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