Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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New Tools 2010

by Alwa A. Cooper

Availability: For information on how to get the MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time Revel system, visit www.minimed.com/products/insulinpumps/start/index.html

Manual insulin delivery system

Product: IQ Patch

Manufacturer: Prodigy
(800) 366-5901

What it does: Prodigy’s IQ Patch includes a 200-unit insulin reservoir that attaches to the body with an adhesive. Basal insulin is delivered through a needle on the back of the Patch; bolus insulin is delivered by sliding a blue “activator” on the corner of the Patch that releases one unit of insulin at a time. The IQ Patch is waterproof and tubeless; it can be attached to the body continuously for three days, after which the Patch must be replaced, just like a standard infusion set.

Availability: The Prodigy IQ Patch is expected to be available in March 2011.


Product: Humulin ReliOn

Manufacturer: Lilly/Walmart
(800) 545-5979

Details: Lilly and Walmart have joined forces to offer Lilly’s Humulin (human insulin) under the name Humulin ReliOn in all Walmart stores. Insulins available in dual-branded versions will include Humulin R, Humulin N, and Humulin 70/30 (70% human insulin isophane suspension, 30% human insulin injection). Humulin ReliOn is part of Walmart’s ReliOn series of diabetes management products, which offer brand-name drugs and devices at lower prices.

Availability: Humulin ReliOn is available in WalMart stores nationwide.

Product: Liraglutide (Victoza)

Manufacturer: Novo Nordisk
(800) 727-6500

What it does: Victoza is the second drug in the class known as GLP-1 agonists — joining exenatide (brand name Byetta) — to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. These drugs stimulate the pancreas to release insulin and to stop releasing glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to release stored glucose. They also signal the pancreas to release amylin, a hormone that sends feelings of fullness to the brain, and they slow gastric emptying, which prolongs feelings of fullness. Like Byetta, Victoza is only approved for adults. The drug is injected once a day under the skin of the abdomen, thighs, or upper arms from a prefilled pen. (The pen takes only Novo Nordisk’s NovoFine pen needles, which are sold separately.) Victoza can be taken alone or with oral diabetes medicines, but it has not been studied in combination with insulin.

Victoza should not be used by people at high risk for developing pancreatitis or at risk for developing medullary thyroid cancer. Common side effects include headache, nausea, and diarrhea, as well as allergic symptoms such as hives.

Availability: Victoza is available in doses of 0.6, 1.2, and 1.8 mg.

Drug labeling change

Product: Orlistat (Xenical, Alli)

Manufacturer: various

Reason for label change: The FDA is adding safety information about the risk of severe liver damage to the labels of both Genentech’s prescription Xenical and GlaxoSmithKline’s over-the-counter Alli. The labeling directs people taking orlistat to be alert to signs and symptoms of liver damage, such as yellow eyes or skin, itching, light-colored stools, dark urine, or loss of appetite. If any of these develop, users should stop taking orlistat and contact their doctors.

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