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Title:  Metformin-containing compositions for the treatment of diabetes

United States Patent:  6,376,549

Inventors:  Fine; Stuart A. (Northbrook, IL); Kinsella; Kevin J. (La Jolla, CA)

Assignee:  Akesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (La Jolla, CA)

Appl. No.:  156102

Filed:  September 17, 1998

Abstract

Compositions and methods using same for the treatment of diabetes its sequelae and pre-diabetic conditions are provided. Invention compositions include the anti-diabetic agent metformin, and bioavailable sources of one or more of chromium, vanadium and magnesium. Also provided are pharmaceutical agents containing invention compositions and methods for administering such agents.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there are provided compositions comprising metformin, one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium or magnesium and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof; and a physiologically acceptable carrier.

In another aspect of the present invention, there are provided compositions comprising, in addition to the aforementioned components, an effective amount of one or more additional anti-diabetic agents such as insulin, a thiazolidinedione, a sulfonylurea, a benzoic acid derivative, an .alpha.-glucosidase inhibitor, exendin-4, or the like. As will be apprecitated by those skilled in the art, the effective amount of each of these components will vary by the patient and severity of condition being treated. Thus, any determination as to the effective amount will be made by the treating professional.

Metformin (N,N-dimethylimidodicarbonimidicdiamide; 1,1-dimethylbiguanide; N,N-dimethylbiguanide; N,N-dimethyldiguanide; N'-dimehtylguanylguanidine) is commonly administered as metformin HCl. This as well as all other useful forms of metformin are contemplated for use in the practice of the present invention. Generally, a fixed dosage regimen is individualized for the management of hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus with metformin HCl or any other pharmacologic agent. Individualization of dosage is made on the basis of both effectiveness and tolerance, while generally not exceeding the maximum recommended daily dose of 2550 mg. In one embodiment of the present invention, compositions comprise in the range of about 100 mg up to about 2550 mg per daily dose. In some embodiments of the invention, doseages may be less than 100 mg per day when administered with higher amounts of bioavailable forms of two or more of chromium, vanadium or magnesium.

Thiazolidinediones contemplated for use in the practice of the present invention include troglitazone, and the like. Effective amounts of troglitazone, when used alone, range from about 10 mg up to about 800 mg per daily dose and a commensurate range is contemplated for use in the present invention. In a preferred aspect of the present invention, the composition comprises from about 100 mg to about 600 mg of troglitazone per daily dose.

As readily recognized by those of skill in the art, a variety of sulfonylureas are useful for the treatment of diabetes. Exemplary sulfonylureas contemplated for use in the practice of the present invention (with typical daily dosages indicated in parentheses) include acetohexamide (in the range of about 250 up to about 1500 mg), chlorpropamide (in the range of about 100 up to about 500mg), tolazimide (in the range of about 100 up to about 1000 mg), tolbutamide (in the range of about 500 up to about 3000 mg), gliclazide (in the range of about 80 up to about 320 mg), glipizide (in the range of about 5 up to about 40 mg), glipizide GITS (in the range of about 5 up to about 20 mg), glyburide (in the range of about 1 up to about 20 mg), micronized glyburide (in the range of about 0.75 up to about 12 mg), glimeperide (in the range of about 1 up to about 4 mg), and the like.

As readily recognized by those of skill in the art, a variety of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are useful for the treatment of diabetes. Exemplary alpha-glucosidase inhibitors contemplated for use in the practice of the present invention include acarbose, miglitol, and the like. Effective dosages of both acarbose and miglitol are in the range of about 75 up to about 300 mg daily.

As readily recognized by those of skill in the art, a variety of benzoic acid derivatives are useful for the treatment of diabetes. Exemplary benzoic acid derivatives contemplated for use in the practice of the present invention include repaglinide (effective daily dosage in the range of about 0.5 mg up to about 16 mg), and the like.

Exendin-4, its derivatives and simlirar proteins are also contemplated for use in the practice of the present invention. Although exendin-4 is still under study, it is anticipated that the action and effects of exendin-4, like those of other anti-diabetic agents, will be enhanced by the ability of exendin-4 to enhance insulin secretion and reduce glucagon secretion when included in invention formulations and administered as part of a supervised regimen of therapy.

It has been discovered that administration of bioavailable forms of nutritional supplements such as chromium, vanadium, and magnesium are able to alleviate one or more symptomologies associated with diabetes or which indicate a predisposition to diabetes. As will be understood by those skilled in the art, "bioavailable," as used herein, conotes that a particular element or compound is, for example by its particular oxidation state or the components with which it is complexed, in a form which allows for the element or compound to be absorbed, incorporated or be otherwise physiologically available by the individual to whom it is administered. Any bioavailable sources of the elements chromium, vanadium and magnesium are contemplated for use in the practice of the present invention.

Bioavailable sources of vanadium, such as vanadyl sulfate, and of chromium, such as chromium picolinate, have properties that closely mimic, as well as enhance, many of the physiological effects of insulin because it has been found that these elements serve to both increase the effectiveness and enhance the anabolic effects of insulin. Supplementation of these elements into a normal diet increases lean body mass without increasing body fat, stabilize blood sugar levels, increases the responsiveness of cells to insulin, and lowers blood lipid and cholesterol levels. By their ability to potentiate the effects of insulin, both vanadyl sulfate and chromium have been found to enhance the entry of glucose (for energy) and amino acids (for protein synthesis) into muscle cells and to inhibit the action of enzymes that catabolize the amino acids and proteins. In addition, these particular elements include cholesterol lowering, energy producing and anabolic promoting properties.

The combination of vanadate and chromium enhances the ability of insulin to utilize glucose. Vanadate ions, like insulin, stimulate glucose transport, activate glycogen synthase, increase glycogen syntheses in fat cells, and stimulate carbohydrate uptake in the liver. Glycogen synthase is an enzyme that causes the conversion of glucose into glycogen, a polysaccharide that is the chief carbohydrate storage material in humans. The maximum level of glycogen synthase activation produced by vanadate is indistinguishable from that of insulin. Thus, the presence of in-vivo vanadate can lead to improved glucose metabolism and enhance the effects of natural or administered levels of insulin.

Chromium, like vanadium, possesses properties that both mimic and enhance the effects of insulin. Chromium enhances the effects of insulin by indirectly assisting amino acid uptake by muscle, stimulating protein synthesis, and retarding the rate of protein breakdown. Chromium also lowers serum triglycerides. Yet, many clinical studies utilizing chromium as a nutritional supplement have shown only modest improvements in glucose tolerance due to poor absorption of nutritional (trivalent) chromium. In this respect, trivalent chromium has a strongly positive charge that impedes its movement across cell membranes. Due to the presence of competing ions such as copper, iron, manganese and zinc in the human body, adequate absorption of chromium occurs best when the metal is associated with a chelating agent such as picolinic acid. Because of its unique structure, picolinic acid binds tightly to transition metals such as zinc, manganese, and chromium, thereby neutralizing their positive charges and expediting their movement across cell membranes. Thus, compounds such as chromium picolinate and/or chromium polynicotinate are particularly useful as bioavailable chromium sources.

Trivalent chromium is an essential micronutrient required mainly for maintenance of normal glucose tolerance. Bioavailable sources of chromium include one or more of chromium picolinate, chromium polynicotinate, as well as other bioavailable forms of chromium known in the art or developed in the future, particularly forms of chromium that are chelated to an organic anion thus forming a membrane permeable complex that is more permeable than chromium alone. In one embodiment of the present invention, in the range of about 10 .mu.g up to about 400 .mu.g of elemental chromium equivalent is present per daily dose. As used herein "elemental chromium equivalent" refers to the amount of elemental chromium present in the particular complex (e.g. chromium picolinate) chosen for a given formulation of invention compositions. In one embodiment of the present invention, in the range of about 30 .mu.g up to about 5000 .mu.g chromium picolinate and/or chromium polynicotinate is present per daily dose. In another embodiment of the present invention, in the range of about 200 .mu.g up to about 4000 .mu.g chromium picolinate and/or chromium polynicotinate is present per daily dose. In a preferred embodiment, about 3264 .mu.g of chromium picolinate and/or chromium polynicotinate is present per daily dose.

Vanadium is a group V transition element that exists in several oxidation states (+2, +3, +4, and +5). Both vanadyl (+4) and vanadate (+5) may be used to alleviate diabetic and pre-diabetic symptomology, with the vanadyl form being better tolerated physiologically. Bioavailable sources of vanadium include vanadyl sulfate, as well as other bioavailable forms of vanadium known in the art or developed in the future, particularly forms of vanadium that are chelated to an organic anion thus forming a membrane permeable complex that is more permeable than vanadium alone. In one embodiment of the present invention, vanadyl sulfate is present in the range of about 50 mg up to about 7500 mg, per daily dose. In another embodiment of the present invention, vanadyl sulfate is present in the range of about 75 mg up to about 5000 mg, per daily dose. In another embodiment of the present invention, vanadyl sulfate is present in the range of about 20 mg up to about 100 mg, per daily dose.

Magnesium is a necessary intercellular co-factor for many enzymes and plays an essential role in protein synthesis. The magnesium ion (+2) plays a fundamental role in carbohydrate metabolism, and in the action of insulin in particular. Moreover, there is a link between Mg depletion and ischemic heart disease. Magnesium supplementation reduces platelet reactivity in NIDDM patients, reduces the incidence of congestive heart failure and death in those with acute myocardial infarction, improves glucose metabolism, improves insulin sensitivity, and reduces lipid abnormalities. Magnesium supplementation also reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

A bioavailable source of magnesium is magnesium chloride. Magnesium may also be optionally complexed with a suitable complex such as citrate, fumarate, malate, glutarate, and succinate, as well as other bioavailable forms of magnesium known in the art or developed in the future, particularly forms of magnesium that are chelated to an organic anion thus forming a membrane permeable complex that is more permeable than magnesium alone. In one embodiment of the present invention, elemental magnesium equivalent is present in the range of about 10 mg up to about 3 g, per daily dose. As used herein "elemental magnesium equivalent" refers to the amount of bioavailable magnesium present in the particular complex (e.g. magnesium chloride) chosen for a given formulation of invention compositions. In another embodiment of the present invention, elemental magnesium equivalent is present in the range of about 10 mg up to about 60 mg, per daily dose. In another embodiment of the present invention, elemental magnesium equivalent is present in the range of about 60 mg up to about 1500 mg, per daily dose. In yet another embodiment of the present invention, magnesium chloride is present in the range of about 100 mg up to about 200 mg, per daily dose. In still another embodiment of the present invention, magnesium chloride is present in the range of about 200 mg up to about 500 mg, per daily dose. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, magnesium chloride is present at about 384 mg, per daily dose.

As will be understood by those skilled in the art, other bioavailable sources of the foregoing elements exist or may become available and will be suitable for use in the practice of the present invention.

In one embodiment, the composition of the present invention further optionally comprises, one or more of aspirin or willow bark extracts, a bioavailable source of vitamin E, a bioavailable source of lipoic acid and/or a bioavailable source of folic acid.

Any source of aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) is suitable for use in compositions of the present invention. Aspirin may be employed with or without the use of physiologically acceptable buffering agents commonly used to minimize the propensity of aspirin to interfere with the gastrointestinal mucosa. Wide ranging dosages of aspirin are typically employed and the present invention may be practiced with any pharmaceutically and physiologically acceptable amount. In one embodiment of the present invention, when aspirin is included in invention compositions, a daily dose of the composition will contain in the range of about 1 mg up to about 650 mg of aspirin. In another embodiment, a daily dose of the present composition will contain in the range of about 20 mg up to about 80 mg of aspirin. In yet another embodiment, a daily dose of the present composition will contain in the range of about 80 mg up to about 650 mg of aspirin. In a preferred embodiment, a daily dose of the present composition will contain about 20 mg of aspirin.

Vitamin E improves the action of insulin, glucose metabolism and lipid levels. People with diabetes have been shown to have reduced plasma vitamin E concentrations. As many as 60% of the newly diagnosed diabetic patients also have clinically obvious cardiovascular disease which may be alleviated by the ability of vitamin E to reduce artherosclerosis. Although the exact mechanism by which vitamin E exerts its effects on insulin use is unknown, it is postulated that the effects are the result of the well known antioxidant properties of vitamin E inasmuch as administration of vitamin E has been shown to reduce oxidative stress. Daily oral supplements of vitamin E has been shown to result in strong increase in total glucose disposal and in non-oxidative glucose metabolism in people with diabetes.

Therefor, in accordance with another aspect of the present invention, vitamin E (free 2R, 4'R, 8'R-alpha tocopherol) may be optionally included in invention compositions in a wide range of concentrations. Any pharmaceutically and physiologically acceptable amount can be employed in the practice of the present invention. In one embodiment of the present invention, when vitamin E is included in invention compositions, vitamin E is present in the range of about 100 up to about 800 I.U. per daily dose. In a preferred embodiment, about 400 I.U. of vitamin E is contained per daily dose.

In addition to vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid is one of the most powerful antioxidants and is a coenzyme required to breakdown sugars, such as glucose, for energy metabolism. Thus, alpha lipoic acid plays an important role in the metabolism of glucose. In addition, alpha lipoic acid helps the body recycle and renew other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, Co-Q10, and glutathione.

Therefor, in accordance with another aspect of the present invention, compositions are provided as described herein, optionally containing alpha-lipoic acid, in a wide range of concentrations. Any pharmaceutically and physiologically acceptable amount of alpha-lipoic acid can be employed in the practice of the present invention. In one embodiment of the present invention, when alpha-lipoic acid is included in invention compositions, alpha lipoic acid is present in the range of about 10 mg up to about 600 mg per dose. A preferred embodiment of the present invention contains about 50 mg alpha lipoic acid per daily dose.

It is well recognized that elevated blood homocysteine levels are an indepedent and powerful cardiovascular risk factor. Elevated homocysteine has been postulated to injure arterial endothelial cells, affect platelet-endothelial cell interactions, and cause thrombosis. These effects can complicate or exacerbate the artherogenic process in diabetic patients. High homocysteine can often be normalized by folic acid treatment, thereby aleviating some of these adverse effects.

Therefor, in accordance with another aspect of the present invention, compositions are provided as described herein, optionally containing folate (folic acid) in a wide range of concentrations. Any pharmaceutically and physiologically acceptable amount can be employed in compositions of the present invention. In one embodiment of the present invention, when folate is included in invention compositions, folate is present in the range of about 200 .mu.g up to about 600 .mu.g per dose. A preferred embodiment of the present invention contains about 400 .mu.g folate per dose.

The active components described for use herein can be included in a pharmaceutically suitable vehicle, selected to render such compositions amenable to delivery by oral, rectal, parenteral (e.g., intravenous, intramuscular, intraarterial, intraperitoneal, and the like), or inhalation routes, osmotic pump, and the like.

Pharmaceutical compositions contemplated for use in the practice of the present invention can be used in the form of a solid, a solution, an emulsion, a dispersion, a micelle, a liposome, and the like, wherein the resulting composition contains one or more of the active compounds contemplated for use herein, as active ingredients thereof, in admixture with an organic or inorganic carrier or excipient suitable for nasal, enteral or parenteral applications. The active ingredients may be compounded, for example, with the usual non-toxic, pharmaceutically and physiologically acceptable carriers for tablets, pellets, capsules, troches, lozenges, aqueous or oily suspensions, dispersible powders or granules, suppositories, solutions, emulsions, suspensions, hard or soft capsules, caplets or syrups or elixirs and any other form suitable for use. The carriers that can be used include glucose, lactose, gum acacia, gelatin, mannitol, starch paste, magnesium trisilicate, talc, corn starch, keratin, colloidal silica, potato starch, urea, medium chain length triglycerides, dextrans, and other carriers suitable for use in manufacturing preparations, in solid, semisolid, or liquid form. In addition auxiliary, stabilizing, thickening and coloring agents may be used. The active compounds contemplated for use herein are included in the pharmaceutical composition in an amount sufficient to produce the desired effect upon the target process, condition or disease.

In addition, such compositions may contain one or more agents selected from flavoring agents (such as peppermint, oil of wintergreen or cherry), coloring agents, preserving agents, and the like, in order to provide pharmaceutically elegant and palatable preparations. Tablets containing the active ingredients in admixture with non-toxic pharmaceutically acceptable excipients may also be manufactured by known methods. The excipients used may be, for example, (1) inert diluents, such as calcium carbonate, lactose, calcium phosphate, sodium phosphate, and the like; (2) granulating and disintegrating agents, such as corn starch, potato starch, alginic acid, and the like; (3) binding agents, such as gum tragacanth, corn starch, gelatin, acacia, and the like; and (4) lubricating agents, such as magnesium stearate, stearic acid, talc, and the like. The tablets may be uncoated or they may be coated by known techniques to delay disintegration and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby providing sustained action over a longer period. For example, a time delay material such as glyceryl monostearate or glyceryl distearate may be employed. The tablets may also be coated by the techniques described in the U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,256,108; 4,160,452; and 4,265,874, incorporated herein by this reference, to form osmotic therapeutic tablets for controlled release.

When formulations for oral use are in the form of hard gelatin capsules, the active ingredients may be mixed with an inert solid diluent, for example, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, kaolin, or the like. They may also be in the form of soft gelatin capsules wherein the active ingredients are mixed with water or an oil medium, for an example, peanut oil, liquid paraffin, olive oil and the like.

The pharmaceutical compositions may be in the form of a sterile injectable suspension. Such a suspension may be formulated according to known methods using suitable dispersing or wetting agents and suspending agents. The sterile injectable preparation may also be a sterile injectable solution or suspension in a non-toxic parenterally-acceptable diluent or solvent, for example, as a solution in 1,4-butanediol. Sterile, fixed oils are conventionally employed as a solvent or suspending medium. For this purpose, any bland fixed oil may be employed including synthetic mono- or diglycerides, fatty acids (including oleic acid), naturally occurring vegetable oils like sesame oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, etc., or synthetic fatty vehicles like ethyl oleate or the like. Buffers, preservatives, antioxidants, and the like can be incorporated as required.

Compositions contemplated for use in the practice of the present invention may also be administered in the form of suppositories for rectal administration of the active ingredients. These compositions may be prepared by mixing the active ingredients with a suitable non-irritating excipient, such as cocoa butter, synthetic glyceride esters of polyethylene glycols (which are solid at ordinary temperatures, but liquify and/or dissolve in the rectal cavity to release the active ingredients), and the like.

In addition, sustained release systems, including semi-permeable polymer matrices in the form of shaped articles (e.g., films or microcapsules) can also be used for the administration of the active compound employed herein.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there are provided methods for the treatment of a subject having diabetes mellitus, said method comprising administering to said subject an effective amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with the methods disclosed herein.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention there are provided methods for the treatment of a subject having diabetes mellitus, said method comprising administering to said subject an effective amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier, said method further comprising monitoring said subject's HbA1c levels.

As will be appreciated by those of skill in the art, diabetes presents a complicated array of conditions and symptoms including abnormal glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, elevated LDL, lowered HDL and elevated blood pressure. Because of the interrelatedness of these conditions and symptoms, invention compositions are useful in treating many of them.

In addition, there are a number of precursor conditions which portend the development of diabetes and which can be treated by administration of invention compositions as described herein. Therefor, in accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there are provided methods for reducing or minimizing elevated HbA1c levels, reducing the dosage of insulin and other anti-diabetic agents described herein, improving glucose metabolism, treating insulin resistance syndrome, decreasing hyperglycemia, regulating blood sugar, for reducing or treating or minimizing daily blood glucose fluctuations, treating or reducing elevated blood pressure, lowering serum triglycerides and cholesterol, and managing other symptoms or conditions associated with perturbations in glucose metabolism, wherein said methods comprise adminstration of invention compositions as described herein.

Therefore, in accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there are provided methods for improving the ability of a subject to metabolize glucose, said method comprising administering to said subject a a glucose metabolism enhancing amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there are provided methods for treating a subject succeptible to daily glucose level fluctuations, said method comprising administering to said subject a glucose level stabilizing amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there are provided methods for treating a subject having hyperglycemia, said method comprising administering to said subject a hyperglycemia reducing amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there are provided methods for regulating blood sugar levels in a subject succeptible to abnormal fluctuations in blood sugar levels, said method comprising administering to said subject blood sugar level stabilizing amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there are provided methods for treating a subject having insulin resistance syndrome, said method comprising administering to said subject an insulin sensitizing amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there are provided methods for treating a subject having higher than normal LDL levels, said method comprising administering to said subject an LDL lowering amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there are provided methods for treating a subject having lower than normal HDL levels, said method comprising administering to said subject an HDL raising amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there are provided methods for treating a subject higher than normal serum triglyceride levels, said method comprising administering to said subject a serum triglyceride reducing amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there are provided methods for treating a subject having elevated blood pressure, said method comprising administering to said subject blood pressure lowering amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention there are provided methods for reducing the doseage of anti-diabetic medication such as a thiazolidinedione, a sulfonylurea, an .alpha.-glucosidase inhibitor or a benzoic acid derivative, said method comprising administering to said subject an effective amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. Optionally, said method further comprises monitoring the subject's blood glucose levels. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an improvement over methods for the treatment of a subject having diabetes by administering to said subject an effective amount of insulin, the improvement comprising administering to said subject an insulin need reducing amount of a composition comprising metformin and one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium, vanadium, or magnesium, a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, and a physiologically acceptable carrier. Optionally, said method further comprises monitoring the subject's blood glucose levels. All combinations, sources and amounts of the active ingredients discussed herein in conjunction with the compositions of the present invention are contemplated as being administered in accordance with this method.

Since individual subjects may present a wide variation in severity of symptoms and each active ingredient has its unique therapeutic characteristics, it is up to the practitioner to determine a subject's response to treatment and vary the dosages of the active ingredients accordingly.

Claim 1 of 40 Claims

That which is claimed is:

1. A composition for the treatment of diabetes, said composition comprising metformin; one or more of a bioavailable source of magnesium and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof; one or more of a bioavailable source of chromium and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof; and one or more of a bioavailable source of vanadium and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof; which components synergistically treat diabetes.

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