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People living with diabetes are at a higher risk of infections because the disease makes their bodies more susceptible to infection. A person with diabetes has a harder time trying to combat the coronavirus once infected. However, there is some good news in the form of a drug called Sitagliptin.

Sitagliptin is one of the many diabetes drugs out there that is mainly administered to type 2 diabetes patients to lower their blood sugar. It is also designed to help increase the chance of survival in diabetes patients that have COVID19. Scientists recently conducted a study in which they gave the drug to coronavirus patients. The results indicated that the mortality rate of diabetes patients with the coronavirus dropped from 37 percent in patients who exclusively received insulin to 18 percent in patients who received insulin and sitagliptin.

The study was conducted in several hospitals in Italy during the first few months of the coronavirus outbreak. The findings from the initial studies were published in the Diabetes Care journal, and they also sparked the launch of another study that seeks to find out more about the sitagliptin.

“We think it’s reasonable to try sitagliptin if a patient is admitted to the hospital with type 2 diabetes and COVID,” stated Paolo Fiorina, a doctor and lead researcher at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Sitagliptin might also be beneficial to non-diabetic individuals

Fiorina also noted a lot of excitement regarding the findings of sitagliptin particularly because the options available for diabetes patients affected by COVID19 have been very few. The oral drug is a DPP-4 inhibitor, and it is prescribed to roughly 20 percent of patients with type-2 diabetes. The treatment received regulatory green light from the FDA in 2006, and its mechanism blocks the DDP-4 enzyme receptors, thus facilitating higher insulin production, which lowers the blood sugar.

Fiorina stated that they decided to focus on collecting data through the sitagliptin studies initially. So far, the drug has demonstrated a safe profile, and of course, the major benefit being that it helps to bring down the mortality rate in diabetes patients.