New drug combination could lead to the return of an old diabetes treatment

Rosiglitazone was once a popular treatment for Type 2 diabetes, but it fell out of favor due to a variety of side effects. According to new research published in Cell Metabolism, however, adding a second drug to the equation just might help rosiglitazone regain popularity among physicians.

The study’s authors combined an experimental drug—referred to as “Compound A”—with a minimal dose of rosiglitazone in a mouse study, noting that it had an effect similar to a larger dose of rosiglitazone alone. Also, the team reported, side effects associated with the drug on its own were not observed.

“The very low dose we used in this study showed no side effects—no weight gain, no fluid retention—in mouse models,” senior author Dayoung Oh, PhD, an assistant professor and researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research, said in a statement.

While additional research is still needed—including more mice trials that focus on heart health, for example—the team’s efforts could someday lead to a return to prominence for rosiglitazone.

“The hope is that we will be able to use rosiglitazone at lower doses to treat Type 2 diabetes patients in a more effective way without side effects,” Oh said.