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Semmelweis University Successfully Uses New Therapy for Diabetics

Hungary Today 2023.06.27.

A new international therapy that has been successfully used at Semmelweis University for some time, is expected to simplify insulin treatment for type 2 diabetics, according to the Semmelweis University website.

The procedure, funded by Social Insurance, not only replaces the need for multiple daily needle pricks and blood glucose measurements, but also has far fewer side effects than treatment with insulin or medication alone. Treatment for many has remained unchanged for years, although it would be possible to change it with periodic review.

The injection, consisting of a modern basic insulin and a non-insulin type substance (glucagon-like peptide, GLP-1 agonist) used to treat type 2 diabetes, is administered once daily. It also eliminates the need for multiple daily blood glucose monitoring – once or twice a week is sufficient.

Another advantage of the fixed combination drug is that it has far fewer side effects than insulin treatment, usually given four times a day.

“Patients gain less weight, have fewer blood glucose episodes than with insulin alone, and have fewer side effects than with GLP-1 agonists alone,” says Péter Kempler, M.D., professor and staff member of the Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology at Semmelweis University. In addition, the used drug protects cardio and renal effects, commonly endangered by complications of diabetes.

However, the most striking result of the therapy is the improvement of the patients’ quality of life.

A patient who thought they would have to inject themselves with insulin four times a day for the rest of their life and prick their fingertip four times beforehand will have a new lease on life,”

says Dr. Péter Kempler.

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The “adaptation” of the new treatment requires more frequent checks than the usual ones – weekly (several times) at first, then fortnightly, and later monthly. Initially, the change is made on an inpatient basis, but in type 2 diabetics it can be done on an outpatient basis because of the smaller fluctuations in blood glucose levels. A main prerequisite is that the body produces sufficient insulin – this can be confirmed by measuring the C-peptide level.


90 percent of diabetics are type 2 diabetics. Based on previous studies in Hungary, type 2 diabetes and its indicators may affect up to 15 percent of the adult population, or nearly 1.5 million people.

The method was first studied by a team of researchers from Békéscsaba (southeast Hungary), who published their one-year results in an international journal late last year. Such simplification of diabetes treatment is unprecedented and has been included in the American Diabetes Association’s 2023 recommendations. Despite its effectiveness, it is rarely used in clinical practice worldwide.

In technical terms, de-escalation or de-intensification therapy is most useful for patients who initially receive intensive insulin treatment, which typically means four daily insulin injections and four daily blood glucose checks.

It is used, for example, in newly diagnosed patients with extremely high blood glucose levels. Also, patients who receive insulin after surgery and have suffered a heart attack are often treated with insulin four times a day (the heart attack causes blood glucose levels to rise).

Adoption of this therapy is complicated by concerns that the initially more frequent injections will further burden the healthcare system, suggesting more doctor visits, and that many people will stick with their usual therapies.

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Via semmelweis.hu, Featured image via Pixabay

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