Pharmacodynamic effects of orally administered dexlipotam on endothelial function in type 2-diabetic patients

Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Jul;45(7):385-93. doi: 10.5414/cpp45385.


Objective: Diabetic endotheliopathy is the result of hyperglycemia and the production of oxygen-free radicals. In vitro and in vivo data have shown beneficial effects of dexlipotam (DEX), a tromethamine salt of R(+)-alpha-lipoic acid, on oxidative stress in hyperglycemic states, but no data are available on the effects of this agent on endothelial function. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the impact of DEX on endothelial function in patients with type 2 diabetes (DM2) and to estimate the safety and tolerability of DEX.

Material and methods: DEX 960 mg and DEX 1,920 mg were investigated in DM2 patients over a period of 4 weeks using a randomized, placebo- (PLA) controlled, double-blinded study with 3 parallel groups. The marker of arterial function after 4-week therapy with DEX was the maximum percentage change versus baseline in the flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery (FMD) after reperfusion.

Results: A total of 114 diabetic patients were randomized to the three study groups. DEX was safe and well tolerated. Dyspepsia appeared to be the most relevant side effect of DEX treatment. Systolic (p = 0.078) and diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.059) tended to be lower in patients treated with DEX at a dose of 1,920 mg. There were no significant differences in FMD between the placebo- and the DEX-treated groups. In patients with poorer glucose control (HbA1c > 6.5% Hb), FMD increased significantly after 4-week treatment with DEX: PLA -1.51 +/- 2.98%, DEX 960 mg +1.22 +/- 3.22, p = 0.027, DEX 1,920 mg +1.47 +/- 3.78, p= 0.012. The magnitude of the mean change compared to placebo was 2.73% (DEX 920) and 2.98% (DEX 1,920) in patients with HbAlc > 7.5% Hb (DEX 960, p = 0.007, DEX 1,920, p = 0.032). The effects of treatment were usually statistically significant in subgroups with more severe vascular stress (longer duration of disease, pretreatment history, higher LDL-C, higher blood pressure).

Conclusion: DEX therapy appears to reduce endothelial dysfunction in DM2, especially in men with long history of DM2 and having poor glucose control. These findings will be useful in patient selection in future prospective clinical trials with drugs to treat vascular stress.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Brachial Artery / drug effects
  • Brachial Artery / physiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thioctic Acid / adverse effects
  • Thioctic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Tromethamine / adverse effects
  • Tromethamine / therapeutic use*
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*


  • Antioxidants
  • Drug Combinations
  • Tromethamine
  • Thioctic Acid
  • dexlipotam