HealthDay News — An immune-modulator anti-inflammatory drug, diacerein, reduces the mean HbA1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Claudia R.L. Cardoso, PhD, from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving 84 patients with HbA1c between 7.5% and 9.5%. Eighty-four participants were randomized to 48-week treatment with placebo (41 patients) or diacerein 100 mg/day (43 patients).

The researchers found that, compared with placebo, diacerein reduced HbA1c by 0.35% in the intention-to-treat analysis and by 0.41% in the per-protocol analysis. At the 24th week of treatment, the peak of effect occurred (-0.61% and -0.78%, respectively); the effect attenuated toward nonsignificant differences at the 48th week. Diacerein had no significant effect in other efficacy and safety measures. Sixty-five percent of patients receiving diacerein had diarrhea, and treatment was interrupted in 16%. Insulin dosage was reduced in 7 patients in the diacerein group, while dosage was increased for 10 patients in the placebo group.

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“The drug was well tolerated and may be indicated as adjunct treatment in patients with type 2 diabetes, particularly in those with osteoarthritis,” the authors write.

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Cardoso CRL, Leite NC, Carlos FO, Loureiro AA, Viegas BB, Salles GF. Efficacy and safety of diacerein in patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial [published online August 17, 2017]. Diabetes Care. doi:10.2337/dc17-0374