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Rimonabant Can Reduce Weight in Type 2 Diabetics

With diet and exercise, drug produces meaningful weight loss, improves hemoglobin A1c

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A daily dose of 20 milligrams of rimonabant combined with an exercise and diet regimen can help diabetes patients lose weight and improve their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), according to study findings published online Oct. 27 in The Lancet.

Andre J. Scheen, M.D., of the University of Liege in Belgium, and colleagues studied 1,047 type 2 diabetics who were overweight or obese, had an HbA1c concentration of 6.5 to 10 percent at baseline and were taking metformin or sulphonylurea monotherapy. The subjects were given a low-calorie diet, exercise suggestions and either 5 mg/day or 20 mg/day of rimonabant, or a placebo, for one year.

By the one-year mark, 692 patients remained in the study, with a similar number of subjects in each group. There was significantly greater weight loss among the rimonabant groups -- 2.3 kg for the 5 mg/day group and 5.3 kg for the 20 mg/day group -- compared with 1.4 kg for the placebo group.

"These data indicate that 20 mg/day rimonabant, in combination with diet and exercise, can produce a clinically meaningful reduction in bodyweight and improve HbA1c and a number of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in overweight or obese patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled by metformin or sulphonylureas," the authors conclude.

The study was sponsored by Sanofi Synthelabo Research, a division of Sanofi Synthelabo Inc.

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