A new study found that methazolamide, a medication normally used to treat increased pressure inside the eye due to glaucoma, may lower glucose levels in the blood. The study, conducted by Dr. Richard Simpson at the Box Hill Hospital in Victoria, Australia, showed improved health in type 2 diabetics.
Simpson managed a 24-week, randomized, and placebo-controlled study that observed 76 patients with type 2 diabetes. Forty-one of these patients were also taking metformin, a drug that helps control the amount of glucose in your blood, increases the body’s response to insulin, and decreases the amount of glucose absorbed from food.
Methazolamide is not a new medication—it was FDA-approved in 1959. However, this is the first time it’s been studied for glucose-controlling factors. The results showed that the drug decreased HbA1c levels by 0.39%. Additionally, patients taking both methazolamide and metformin experienced an average weight loss of 4.9 pounds, while the placebo group had an average weight loss of 0.7 pounds.
The medication comes with some side effects, of course. Seven out of 37 of the patients experienced metabolic acidosis, or too much acid in the body fluid. Twenty-two patients who were simultaneously taking metformin saw a drop in alanine aminotransferase, an enzyme found primarily in the liver and plasma.
Simpson and Dr. Vincent Wacher plan to modify the drug with the hope that the metabolic acidosis will dissipate. They intend to take away the inhibiting factors of the drug that are only pertinent to treating glaucoma. With this modification, Simpson, Wacher and their research team can create an archetype for a new class of drug that will help control glucose levels in type 2 diabetics. They are hoping to develop a next-generation way to lower glucose.
Look for a more specialized modification of methazolamide in coming years—it could be the next generation mechanism to lowering your glucose.