Metformin Gum Chew Your Way to Diabetes Control?You can chew a gum to help you quit smoking, why not chew a gum to manage your diabetes? Generex corporation of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has teamed up with Fertin Pharma from Denmark to create this diabetes gum.
The proposed gum would be for type 2 diabetes, and would be for patients who are not insulin dependant. The gum would deliver metformin to the patient through the lining of their mouth. Metformin is a traditionally used medication for diabetes. Generex, a biotechnology company, expects this type of delivery (buccal) to help overcome certain side effects of taking metformin orally.
The two companies announced their plans in early June of 2006. Generex has been a market leader for drug delivery, and Fertin has developed many other gums. Their partnership offers lots of hope for diabetics currently on medication.
Metformin is currently taken as a pill. It can be associated with nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting, among others side effects. The idea of having metformin absorbed into the mouth is that it would prevent or minimize these effects.
When a drug is absorbed through a person''s mouth, it is called a buccal delivery because it enters via the buccal mucosa. Generex has worked with buccal delivery successfully for other drugs. Generex has developed a type of insulin for insulin dependent diabetics that is sprayed into the mouth.
Metformin is a glucose-reducing drug. It is part of the biguanides family of drugs, which reduces glucose production in the liver. One of the brand names of metformin currently is Glucophage. Metformin also makes muscle tissue more receptive to insulin.
Currently, some of the side effects of metformin (which include vomiting or diarrhea) can be prevented when the medication is taken with food. With chewing a gum instead of taking a pill, scientists hope that the delivery will be more efficient and easier to deliver, which will prevent these gastro-intestinal side effects.
Metformin, and other medications for non-insulin dependent diabetics, is an important part of blood sugar control. It helps a person with diabetes cope with his/her blood sugar, which in turn prevents many of the complications associated with diabetes. This proposed drug will offer diabetics more choice and will help them find the ideal treatment process. We look forward to hearing more news on these developments!
Vivian Brennan is the editor of The Guide To Diabetes. To learn more about diabetes medications, for both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, visit The Guide to Diabetes today.