Louisiana residents able to take part in diabetes study of "once-a-day pill"

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METARIE, La. (WWL) - If you live in Louisiana and have diabetes, you have a chance to be among the first in the world to join a clinical trial for a new type of treatment. So far in studies, a once-a-day pill appears to significantly lower blood sugar and weight.

Courtesy: KNOE
Courtesy: KNOE

Several years ago, Brenda Breaux of Bayou Lafourche found out she has type II Diabetes. Her energy crashed while her sugar, weight and cravings soared.

"It got to the point- if you put a loaf of french bread in front of me, hey, half of it would be gone by the time I finished my pot of coffee," Breaux said.

When her A1C kept going up, the doctor wanted to move her from a pill to insulin injections.

"I didn't want to go on insulin. My father was a type II diabetic, maturity onset, and i saw what he went through," Breaux said.

Brenda then joined a diabetes study in Metairie. It's one of the world wide test sites for a once-a-day pill unlike any other.

"The way this medication works is-- it actually increases you body's ability to produce it's own insulin, and that's how it's lowering A1C," Dr. Eileen Palace, the study investigator, said. "Rather than adding an insulin, you're producing your own insulin."

In previous human studies, it showed a significant decrease in blood sugar levels and weight unlike nothing else on the market, and it did so in animals too.

"Rats would always prefer chocolate over the regular rat food once they took this medication," Dr. Palace said. "The rats would turn back to the rat food rather than going toward the chocolate."

It appears to work on the brain also, decreasing pleasure overeating. Brenda has lost 20 pounds. Her A1C is dramatically down and her energy is up for her 6 grandchildren.

"Believe it or not, I don't crave bread anymore. I walk three miles a day, four days a week. My neighbor and I are on the track at six o'clock in the morning and I look forward to it," Breaux said.

You can qualify for the free study if you have type-2 diabetes, no matter if you are on not on medication, or on insulin. The studies can last anywhere from six months to two years, and the medication, as well as all exams and lab work are free.

For more information, you can call 504-834-4500.