How effective is Meldonium as a Diabetic Drug?

The name Meldonium has been doing a lot of rounds in the news recently after Russian Tennis Star Maria Sharapova appeared in the spotlight after being provisionally suspended from the Australian Open competition due to a failed drug test. The player had admitted to taking the medication following the advice of her family doctor. However, it had left many of her fans and even some others out of curiosity; want to know what actually Meldonium is and why the tennis player had been taking it.

First thing’s first – Meldonium is a drug that is used as a treatment for diabetes and low magnesium. As of 1st January 2016, Meldonium was banned by the Anti-Doping Agency.


How does Meldonium help in treating diabetes?

  • This is a cardioprotective drug type, the action of which is based on the regulation of the L- Carnitine concentration.
  • In a recent scientific test conducted by researchers in order to understand how the lab rats behaved to the metabolic effects of metformin and mildronate and the combination of both.
  • The test was done in order to understand how the drugs reacted to impaired glucose intolerance and obesity.

This is how the progress of the study went on during the experimentation

  • The rats in the lab were daily treated with 300 mg of Metformin and 200 mg of Mildronate and the combination of both. The treatment was carried on for a total duration of 4 weeks. At the same time, the researchers measured the results related to weight gain and plasma metabolites.
  • The Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors – PPAR- γ and (PPAR)- α were used as measurement tools in the liver tissues and the heart of the rat.
  • In each treatment, the researchers decreased the concentration of the glucose level by 1 to 2 mmol/l during both the fed and the fasted states. It was observed that the Metformin and Mildronate treatment lead to a decrease in the concentration of the plasma insulin to 29% from 31%. The combined drug treatment saw a decrease in the plasma insulin level by 47 percent. Mildronate
  • Treatment with Mildronate resulted in an increase in the PPAR – α expression in the heart tissue and an increase in the PPAR- γ in the liver and the heart tissues. In addition to this, it was found that the treatment led to an increase in the PPAR target genes in the heart tissue and not in the liver tissue.
  • Experimentation with the combination of both Mildronate and Metformin resulted in a significant loss of weight by 19 percent and was not at all affected by the food intake.
  • The conclusion of the experiment – Mildronate (the L-carnitine biosynthesis inhibitor) improves hyperglycemia adaptation and the metabolic disturbance induced by hyperlipidemia.

But why is Meldonium One of the Banned Drugs?

That’s because the drug has been observed to be a performance enhancer. Studies related to the Meldonium drug test and analysis demonstrate an increase in endurance capability of an athlete, protection against stress, improved rehabilitation post-exercise and enhanced activation of the function in the central nervous system. That is why Meldonium is not an athlete’s choice even though it is used to treat diabetes.

Category: General

Tags: diabetes, Meldonium