Double Whammy! This Drug Treats Blood Pressure and Reverses Diabetes


High blood pressure is that affects about 75 million Americans, and only 54% keep it under control. This condition is responsible for more than 1,100 deaths per day. Luckily, there are medications that help treat the condition. Ont of them is verapimil.

Some new evidence by a group of researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham has shown that verapimil has the potential to not only treat high blood pressure but also help reverse diabetes.

The scientists discovered that verapimil reduces TXNIP levels. TXNIP is a protein that is overproduced in pancreatic beta cells when blood sugar levels are high. Too much of this protein leads to beta cells death, and in turn a lack of production of insulin, resulting in the progression of diabetes. In their findings, the researchers saw that verapimil lowers the levels of TXNIP in mice beta cells and the levels of blood glucose to the point of eradicating diabetes.

Now there are plans to begin clinical trials and see if the drug can do the same in humans. In fact, they recently received a grant of $2.1 million to carry out the clinical trial, wich is based on the idea that verapamil will promote beta cells recovery, production of more insulin and ultimately blood sugar control.

A 3D model of verapimil (Shutterstock)

The trial, titled “Verapamil for Beta Cell Survival Therapy in Type 1 Diabetes”, started on February 20, 2015, and after almost two years it’s still recruiting participants. So far, 52 adults with type 1 diabetes have enrolled to see if 12 months of verapamil will increase insulin production.

The fist data shows that patients with type 1 diabetes or late-stage type 2 diabetes who took verapamil, had fasting serum glucose levels lower than patients who did not receive verapamil.

The trial is expected to be completed in July 2017. Check this link to read more about the eligibility for the study. Maybe you can make a contribution to science and help make a difference in the millions of diabetes patients around the world.

[expand title=”Sources“]

CDC. High blood pressure fact sheet. Verapamil for Beta Cell Survival Therapy in Type 1 Diabetes.