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Salsalate Improves Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes
But drug also has some undesirable cardiac and renal effects

TUESDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Salsalate, a prodrug form of salicylate, improves glycemic control and reduces inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes, but also has some undesirable cardiac and renal effects, according to a study published in the July 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Allison B. Goldfine, M.D., from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, and colleagues randomly assigned 286 patients with type 2 diabetes and inadequate glycemic control (fasting glucose levels of 12.5 mmol/L or less and hemoglobin A1c of 7.0 to 9.5 percent) to current therapies plus placebo or 3.5 g/d salsalate for 48 weeks.

Compared with placebo, the researchers found that salsalate significantly reduced hemoglobin A1c (by a mean of 0.37 percent more), fasting glucose (by a mean of 0.83 mmol/L more), and inflammation (by significant reductions in leukocyte, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts). The salsalate group also had more frequent reductions of diabetes medications than the placebo group (62 versus 13 percent). However, patients taking salsalate had a six-fold higher relative risk of mild hypoglycemia, increased weight, increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and a reversible increase in urinary albumin levels.

"Salsalate improves glycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and decreases inflammatory mediators," Goldfine and colleagues conclude. "Continued evaluation of mixed cardiorenal signals is warranted."

Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, LifeScan, and Mercodia provided supplies for the study.

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