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Diabetes drug could be used to boost TB treatment

Diabetes drug could be used to boost TB treatment

Researchers in Singapore have found that a drug used to treat diabetes could also increase the effectiveness of tuberculosis (TB) medication.

Details of the study have been published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine.

Typically, TB-fighting drugs are designed to attack and kill the bacteria that cause the disease directly. However, this approach has given rise to an increase in strains of the disease that are resistant to antibiotics. The researchers proposed that a new, indirect method of fighting TB could form a better strategy that does not encourage drug resistance.

After looking through a range of drugs for a potential new treatment, the scientists found that metformin, a drug used to treat diabetes, was effective, particularly when combined with traditional TB medicines.

The drug now needs to be tested in clinical trials, however, as the researchers highlight, since metformin is currently in use, these should not be too lengthy.

Read the original news story

Read the abstract of the journal article