Role of betahistine in glycemic control of obese subjects: a placebo- controlled clinical trial

Hayder H. Al-Anbari, Ahmed S. Sahib, Amer O. Al-Mukhtar


Background: Poor glycemic control, insulin resistance and abnormal beta cell function are of the most important complications that associated with obesity, targeting of such complications with pharmacological agents depending on the already existing central mechanism may decrease the incidence of morbidity and mortality among obese subjects. Betahistine is an anti-vertigo drug, commonly prescribed to patients with balance disorders or to improve vertigo symptoms associated with Meniere's disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of betahistine on glycemic status, insulin resistance and pancreatic function in obese subjects.

Methods: A randomized, placebo controlled trial was carried out on 72 obese subjecta of both sexes with age range of 18-50 years who allocated into two groups: Group A: 48 patients treated with 144mg /day in three divided every eight hours for twelve weeks. Group B: 24 patients treated with placebo for twelve weeks to serve as control. For each group, demographic data, liver and renal function tests beside the studied parameters were investigated at baseline and after 12 weeks.

Results: Administration of betahistine to obese subjects resulted in improvement in fasting blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, insulin resistance and beta cell percent values after twelve weeks compared to baseline values and placebo treated group.

Conclusions: Administration of betahistine in a dose of 144mg /day for twelve weeks to obese subjects effectively improve glycemic control, insulin resistance and beta cell functions in these subjects, indicating the beneficial effect of betahistine in slowing or reversing the long term progress of obesity complications without incidence of any serious adverse effects, indicating its efficacy and safety.


Betahistine, Glycemic control, Insulin resistance, Lifestyle change, Obesity

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