According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million people have diabetes in the United States. Type 2 diabetics often do not have indicating symptoms of the disease but sometimes they will suffer from frequent infections in the skin, gums or bladder, blurred vision, bruises that are slow to heal and tingling in the extremities.
Type 2 diabetics do not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.
Most diabetic patients who take insulin need about two shots per day to control blood sugar levels. But it is not uncommon for people to inject insulin four times a day.
"Another long-acting basal insulin that might be effective when given every three days could improve adherence and reduction in hypoglycemia, [which] is always an important goal in that hypoglycemia deters adherence with and acceptance of insulin therapy in type 2," said Dr. Francine Kaufman, director of the Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.
"I think this is another advance in diabetes therapy for type 2 diabetes patients in that it adds to the armamentarium," added Kaufman.
While study authors warned that the insulin is not ready for clinical use, many doctors remain hopeful that the drug will cut down insulin maintenance for diabetic patients in the future.
"This is a promising advance in the management of diabetic patients, easy to take, less cumbersome, perhaps cheaper and, if indeed [it] has less hypoglycemia episodes, even better," said Dr. Albert Levy, assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "The most common side effect of practically all insulin injections is hypoglycemia, and if this unwanted side effect is minimized it would be a major breakthrough."