Alabama residents with Type 2 diabetes sought for long-term study on medication effectiveness

diabetes illus250x03 Alabama residents with Type 2 diabetes sought for long term study on medication effectivenessResearchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) are enrolling participants in an ongoing study on the long-term benefits and side effects with certain combinations of drugs to treat type 2 diabetes.

Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness, or GRADE, is a national study that is being conducted at UAB and 36 other sites across the country. Enrollment began in June 2013, but more participants are being sought.

More than 5,000 people will be enrolled in the study. Subjects must have type 2 diabetes that was diagnosed within the past five years and should not be on any other diabetes medication except for metformin.

Participants will be given metformin and another drug from one of four classes of type 2 diabetes medications including sulfonylureas, such as Glibenclamide, Glimepiride and Glipizide; DPP-4 inhibitors such as Sitagliptin (Januvia), and Lingliptin (Tradjenta); GLP-1 agonists, including exenatide (Byetta) and Liraglutide (Victoza); and a long-acting form of insulin.

Participants will be followed for five years during which time researchers will study which drug combinations are the most effective and which have the fewest side effects.

Type 2 diabetes drugs can have dangerous side effects, including cancer risks. Actos has been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, and the drugs Byetta and Januvia can lead to acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Birmingham, Ala.-area residents interested in participating in the study should contact UAB at for more information.