Indian Gel for Diabetic Foot Ulcers: A Healing Breakthrough
A recent study conducted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh has revealed the remarkable efficacy of an esmolol hydrochloride gel compared to conventional therapy methods currently employed. The study demonstrated that esmolol gel exhibited significantly superior outcomes, with 60% of patients experiencing wound closure within 12 weeks, compared to only 41% with existing care protocols.
This suggests a notable 2.1 times higher likelihood of wound closure when utilizing esmolol. Impressively, over three-fourths of patients treated with esmolol achieved complete wound healing, while only half of the patients under existing treatments experienced the same level of recovery. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that esmolol proved successful in facilitating wound healing among patients with low hemoglobin, renal problems, and low albumin, conditions that typically impede the healing process.
Esmolol is a short-acting beta-adrenergic receptor blocker, which has traditionally been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for cardiology purposes. Typically used intravenously in cardiac ICUs to manage tachycardia (rapid heart rate), esmolol has been found to possess beneficial properties in reducing oxidative stress, thereby potentially improving wound healing.
In this study, the researchers repurposed esmolol for topical application and investigated various gel concentrations. The findings strongly suggest that topical esmolol could be a valuable addition to the treatment protocol for diabetic foot ulcers, potentially revolutionizing the approach to managing such wounds. It is anticipated that esmolol gel may become the standard of care for physicians treating diabetic patients with foot ulcers. The drug has already been patented by Dr. Sudhir Kulkarni, one of the co-investigators, and pending regulatory approvals, it is expected to be introduced to the market soon. Furthermore, the guidelines for managing foot ulcers are likely to incorporate the inclusion of esmolol gel in the near future.
This breakthrough discovery marks a significant advancement in the field of diabetic wound treatment.
Dr. Rastogi presented the study’s findings with great acclaim at the European Diabetes Congress held in Stockholm, Sweden, in September 2022. The audience responded with enthusiastic applause, recognizing the significance of the research. The conclusive outcomes of the study have now been published in the esteemed peer-reviewed journal, JAMA Network Open, further solidifying the scientific validity and importance of the findings.
According to Dr. Rastogi, diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a prevalent yet often overlooked complication of diabetes. Despite their significance, DFUs are not widely discussed. The prevalence of DFUs varies between 1.3 and 12 percent across different countries. In India, there is a tendency to downplay the seriousness of DFUs due to socio-cultural beliefs, delayed healthcare seeking behavior, and the financial burden of out-of-pocket expenses.
Dr. Rastogi highlights that approximately one in five diabetes patients is at risk of developing foot ulcers. These complications, including DFUs, significantly contribute to diabetes-related mortality, primarily due to infections and persistent wounds that may necessitate amputation.
In a large-scale study conducted across multiple centers in the country, it was discovered that individuals with DFUs are three times more likely to experience premature death, primarily attributed to cardiac issues, compared to individuals with diabetes but without ulcers.
Furthermore, mortality rates associated with foot ulcers surpass those of certain cancers, underscoring the gravity of the condition.
Dr. Rastogi’s insights shed light on the alarming implications of DFUs and emphasize the need for greater awareness and proactive management of this diabetic complication.