Experts express concerns about non-insulin diabetes treatments

Therapies for treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes that do not include insulin are becoming increasingly popular. However, some health experts are not totally convinced of their safety.

Michael Nauck, a German diabetes researcher, recently gave a presentation at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in which he noted recent reports of increased risk for pancreatitis and C-cell abnormalities among individuals on non-insulin treatments, according to Endocrine Today.

"A number of important questions deserve answers in the near future," he said, as quoted by the news source. "Recent studies have suggested that sitagliptin (Januvia, Merck) and exenatide (Byetta, Amylin) are associated with changes at the cellular level in the exocrine pancreas of experimental animals. More information is needed before clinical consequences can be drawn."

However, he did note that there may be many benefits to non-insulin treatments. Therefore, he recommended that physicians be judicious about the patients that they put on these treatments and monitor them closely.

One such benefit, according to the Mayo Clinic, is that Januvia has been shown to effectively increase the production of insulin and control blood pressure.
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