Adherence is always a challenge when treating any medical condition. There are millions of people dealing with the daily burden of Type 2 diabetes, and the injections that entails. The care of diabetes sufferers requires continuous insulin treatments, and this needs to be maintained accurately in order to keep them safe. Mistakes in dosage, and missing injections, can lead to blood sugar levels falling outside target levels. This can result in a reduction of the effectiveness of the treatment and a worsening of the patient’s health. Injecting with insulin is often inconvenient and a barrier to adherence of their treatment. Many people don’t like having injections, let alone doing them every day to themselves.
What could make this easier and increase treatment levels, would be if the injections didn’t need to be as frequent. Phase 2 trials of a once per week insulin injection promise to increase adherence, better control blood sugar levels, and, therefore, better treat patients.
Studies seem to show that the once-a-week insulin injection, is at the same level of effectiveness as daily treatments. There have been two international trials that reached the conclusion that the weekly injection provided the same level of treatment, but offered an easier and less burdensome treatment regimen for patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
Insulin has been used for over 100 years in the treatment of diabetes, being very effective in reducing glucose levels. It is safe and effective when used correctly with the right doses, but this isn’t always going to be the case when it is up to the patient to administer the treatment. A weekly injection removes some of the issues that could cause patients to harm their own treatment when not following the insulin injection regimen correctly.
One of the clinical trials involved just over 200 patients from multiple countries. These patients were in Germany, Hungary, Spain, Poland, Croatia, Slovakia, and the USA. There was a two week screening period, followed by 16 weeks of the treatment phase. This was followed up by five weeks of evaluation and adjustment to find the most suitable dose for the best treatment balance.
A second study involved over 150 patients in five countries. These countries were Germany, Canada, Italy, Czech Republic, and the USA. This trial followed the same pattern of screening, treatment, and evaluation. It looked in particular at the best ways to help a patient transition from daily to weekly injections. It was found that a higher initial dose was better to help patients get to their ideal glucose level more quickly.
The information gleaned from these two clinical research studies has helped create a foundation for a currently ongoing study at UT Southwestern and other locations. This new study is looking at the use and effectiveness of once per week injections for patients dealing with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes in their daily lives.
The weekly injection offers to improve the lives of diabetes sufferers. This will be even more beneficial to people who need help to inject or are suffering from memory issues as well.