Mixing medicines with thickeners can significantly reduce their effectiveness

Recent research published in the international journal Dysphagia has shown that if Mitiglinide tablets, a treatment for type 2 diabetes are mixed with a thickener before being administered to healthy volunteers, Mitinglinide’s ability to reduce blood sugar levels was seriously affected.  In practice this would mean that if the drug was routinely administered with a thickening agent then the patient’s diabetes control would be poor.  The trial was in five patients who received the tablets on their own and then in a thickening agent and therefore acting as their own controls.  The results showed that the thickener not only delayed absorption of the drug but also resulted in reduced effectiveness. 30 minutes after ingestion the blood glucose level in patients when they had used the thickener was 160mg/dl on average compared to 110mg/dl when it was not used and this difference was shown to be statistically significant.  The authors recommend that if medicines are to be mixed with thickeners then it would be wise to carefully assess and monitor the patient.  The paper’s full title: Tomita T, Goto H, Sumiya K, Yoshida T, Tanaka K,, Kudo K, Kohda Y.Effect of Food Thickener on the Inhibitory Effect of Mitiglinide Tablets on Post-prandial Elevation of Blood Glucose Levels. Dysphagia. 2017 Jun; 32(3): 449-503. doi: 10.1007/s00455-017-9787-1.