Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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New Tools 2009

by Alwa A. Cooper

The cradle delivers insulin through either a 6- millimeter or 9-millimeter cannula and, like a standard infusion set, needs to be replaced every 2–3 days. Medingo recommends placing the pump and cradle on the abdomen or buttocks, but they can also be placed on the upper thighs or upper arms.

Users program the MicroPump with the remote control, which transmits commands to the pump wirelessly; boluses can be delivered by remote or by pushing two buttons on the pump itself. The pump can be easily removed from the cradle for showering or other situations that could damage either the pump or the insulin in the reservoir (using a sauna, for example). In the case of a bad insertion site, only the cradle has to be replaced, not the entire pump and reservoir. The Solo MicroPump is 2.4 inches long, 1.5 inches wide, and 0.54 inch thick; it weighs 0.8 ounces when full, making it slightly smaller and lighter than Insulet’s similar OmniPod.

Availability: The Solo will not be available for purchase until May 2010, but a free demo kit can be ordered from www.solo4you.com.


Product: Bromocriptine mesylate (Cycloset)

Manufacturer: VeroScience, Inc.
(401) 816-0525

What it does: Cycloset is a new version of an old drug, bromocriptine, that has long been used to treat Parkinson disease. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May. When used for Type 2 diabetes, Cycloset is taken once daily in the morning with food and within two hours of waking. The drug raises levels of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that affects metabolism, among other processes. The exact mechanism by which Cycloset improves blood glucose control and helps to lower HbA1c is not known, but the drug’s manufacturers believe — based on studies done on hibernating animals and migratory birds, which develop a form of seasonal insulin resistance that allows them to fast for long periods of time — that boosting levels of dopamine once in the morning can “reset” the body’s biological clock for the rest of the day and regulate metabolic processes.

Availability: VeroScience, Inc., which manufactures Cycloset, anticipates its release in early 2010.

Product: Pioglitazone HCl and metformin HCl (ACTOplus met XR)

Manufacturer: Takeda
(877) 825-3327

What it does: The FDA has approved an extended-release formulation of combined pioglitazone and metformin for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. It is designed to be taken once daily. The two components of the product lower blood glucose in different ways: Pioglitazone (Actos) lowers insulin resistance, and metformin works on the liver to reduce the amount of glucose released into the bloodstream.
ACTOplus met XR tablets are available in strengths of 15 mg pioglitazone/1,000 mg extended-release metformin and 30 mg pioglitazone/1,000 mg extended-release metformin.

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