2. Calcium channel blockers may help with blood glucose lowering

Description: http://asgvets.wpengine.com/media/amlodipine.jpgAccording to study findings published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, lower fasting blood glucose levels may be linked to calcium channel blocker use, in particular with verapamil, in patients with diabetes.

Yulia Khodneva, MD, PhD, a research associate and postdoctoral scholar in the division of preventive medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues evaluated data from 1,484 participants of the REGARDS study. Compared with non-users, participants on calcium channel blockers or verapamil were more likely to have hypertension, higher mean systolic blood pressure and a slightly larger waist circumference and were more likely to receive pharmacologic treatment for diabetes. After controlling for all covariates, verapamil users had 9.6 mg/dL lower blood glucose compared with non-users. Glucose was 24.1 mg/dL lower among participants on verapamil and insulin or insulin-oral diabetic agents and 37.4 mg/dL lower among participants on verapamil and insulin alone compared with nonusers.

“The change in glucose for that group compared to those not taking verapamil — 37 mg/dL — is almost four times higher than when you look at the whole sample of diabetic adults,” Khodneva said. “That made us think that verapamil is predominantly active for participants who have type 1 diabetes or those with type 2 diabetes who have really damaged beta cells. There seems to be something that works on the structural level, especially for those who have stronger beta-cell damage.”

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