Controlling Depression May Help Control Glucose

(iVillage Total Health) - People with both depression and diabetes may benefit from regular use of antidepressant medications to help control blood sugar levels, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied 93 adult patients with type 2 diabetes who had major depression. Depression is a mental illness in which a person is profoundly sad and has a loss of interest in things he or she once found pleasurable. Previous studies have shown that having depression is an independent risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

The new study sought to determine if glycemic control improved while patients were treated with bupropion hydrochloride extended release (Wellbutrin XL), an antidepressant medication commonly prescribed to treat depression. Participants were given 150 milligrams (mg) each morning and the dosages were adjusted biweekly in 150 mg increments (up to a maximum of 450 mg a day). There were two phases to the study: a 10-week acute phase in which participants were given this continually increasing dosage, followed by a 24-week maintenance phase where they received the same level of medication.

Measurements of body mass index, total fat mass, blood glucose and adherence to diabetes self-care were taken at the outset and then periodically throughout the study. Researchers found that people treated with bupropion showed significant reductions in depression and improvements in glycemic control, weight loss and diabetes self-care.

The research appeared in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

Copyright 2007 iVillage Total Health.

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