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Thrice-a-week insulin jabs could soon replace daily shots

London: The pain of daily insulin jabs of diabetics could soon be halved, as researchers, including Indian scientists, found that a new form of insulin that needs to be taken thrice a week is as effective as the once-a-day medication.

Clinical trials, held in India, Canada, South Africa and the US, showed that the new longer-acting form of insulin, called degludec, works effectively in controlling blood sugar among patients with type 2 diabetes, the Daily Mail reported.

One in three patients with type 2 diabetes, whose body does not produce enough insulin, currently has to inject insulin at least once a day to keep their blood sugar under check.

Researchers, led by Dr Yogish Kudva and Dr Ananda Basu from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in the US, said that patients might stick to their medical regime if it was less onerous.

"Doses given three times a week might improve adherence and cause less disruption to the patient`s lifestyle," they said.

For their trials, the researchers recruited 245 people with type 2 diabetes, who had not previously been prescribed insulin.

Two-thirds were told to use degludec once a day or three times a week. The remainder had daily jabs of insulin glargine — a widely used medication.

Findings showed similar control of blood sugar levels across all three groups, the researchers reported in the British medical journal `The Lancet`.

But those given daily jabs of degludec had fewer attacks of hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar, which can cause confusion, fainting and death, they cautioned.

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