Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Last week, in his blog entry "Stress, Inflammation, Diabetes," David Spero wrote about the anti-inflammatory drug salsalate — an older, cheaper medicine that has been shown to lower blood glucose levels in preliminary studies. Several readers commented that they were interested in learning more about salsalate and possibly trying it. Now, thanks to a new clinical trial that is recruiting participants, they may have a chance.

This week, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced that researchers at 20 medical centers across the country are seeking adults with Type 2 diabetes and poorly controlled blood glucose to participate in a new study called Targeting Inflammation with Salsalate in Type 2 Diabetes (or TINSAL-T2D).

The main purpose of the study is to see whether salsalate will be effective at lowering people’s HbA1c levels (a measure of average blood glucose) over the course of about a year. Earlier NIDDK studies at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston showed that salsalate worked well at lowering blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes over a three-month period.

The study is looking for about 560 people, ages 18 to 75, whose blood glucose levels are not currently well controlled. Participants can already be taking up to two oral medicines, but not insulin. People who are chosen for the study will receive either salsalate or a placebo (inactive) pill for about a year; treatment will be free of charge.

In a press release about the trial, principal researcher Steve E. Shoelson, MD, PhD, said, “Given what we’re learning about the role of inflammation in the development of Type 2 diabetes, this therapy might be getting at an underlying cause of the disease. We hope that this drug will provide an additional tool for improving glucose control and thus reducing the risk of diabetes complications.”

To learn more about the study and find out how to get involved, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov and search for study NCT00799643 (or follow this direct link to the study page). You can also find out more at the study’s Web site, www.tinsalt2d.org.

Are you considering getting involved in this study? Let us know with a comment.

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