Twenty islet cell antibody (ICA)-positive patients, aged 19–38 years, with IDDM were randomized at onset to treatment with either diazoxide, a K+ channel opener that inhibits the release of insulin, or placebo for 3 months, in addition to multiple insulin injection therapy. The patients who were given diazoxide displayed higher residual insulin secretion than the placebo group after 1 year (basal C-peptide level, 0.40 ± 0.04 vs. 0.25 ± 0.04 [mean ± SE] nmol/l; P < 0.021) and at an 18-month follow-up (0.37 ± 0.06 vs. 0.20 ± 0.01 nmol/l, P < 0.033). Metabolic control did not differ between the two groups. During the course of the study, no differences in islet cell or GAD autoantibodies were detected between the two groups. The results of this study warrant further trials to explore the potential of inducing target cell rest in order to halt the loss of insulin-producing cells during the early course of the disease.

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