This common cough remedy could be just what the doctor ordered for diabetes sufferers 25



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1.7 million Australians have diabetes, making it one of the most prevalent and preventable diseases in Australia. Those who suffer from diabetes may not have been able to prevent it or treat their symptoms easily, however a new medicine has been found to help …and you can buy it over the counter at any chemist.

Dextromethorphan, better known as Robitussin, is an over-the-counter cough suppressant but new research in Nature Medicine has found an interesting side effect of the cough medicine for Type 2 diabetes sufferers.

Antidiabetic drugs that are typically prescribed for Type 2 diabetes cannot slow the disease down, leading to dangerously low blood sugar levels, but dextromethorphan can inhibit N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptors. These receptors are expressed in tiny clusters of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

Eckhard Lammert and colleagues found that genetic deletion of a key part of this class of receptors, or their pharmacological inhibition by drugs such as dextromethorphan, results in more potent glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in a sample of normal mouse and human pancreatic tissue.

When administered, the results showed the above, as well as improved glucose control in a mouse model of Type 2 diabetes. In a small, phase 2a, clinical trial involving 20 men with Type 2 diabetes, the authors also found that dextromethorphan increased serum insulin concentrations and lowered blood glucose.

At the moment, it’s not advised to rush to the chemist and stock up on Robitussin, but keep your ears peeled for more as this treatment develops.


Are you suffering from diabetes? What treatment works or doesn’t work for you? Would you try this if it was approved in Australia? Tell us below.

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  1. Just control your consumption of sugar and the symptoms disappear.

    6 REPLY
  2. It has to be proven and approved, please diabetics, don’t try this, keep to your medications. Remember there is high and low blood sugars, that have very different reactions to your body. Both can be dangerous if not recognised.

  3. Diabetes has very little to do with “consumption of sugar”, never eating any sugar will not make “symptoms disappear”. What symptoms are you talking about? Everything a diabetic eats can raise their blood sugar, at different rates. Even feeling stressed can raise blood sugar. A person with diabetes is constantly trying to achieve a balance using diet control, exercise, and medication.
    The article is very unclear as to how cough mixture is likely to be used to assist in diabetes management. It uses a lot of big words which are not explained in plain language, and especially would not be understood by those who think that eating sugar is the cause of diabetes.

  4. controling your sugar intake doesn,t get your sugar down. Losing weight also doesn,t always work. Have tried lots of things that they say help. But sill have it.

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