Partial recovery of β-cell function in type 1 diabetes is common after diagnosis by intensive insulin therapy. Residual β-cell function can be improved by other therapies. Cyclosporin (CyA) and nicotinamide (NA), alone or in combination, can preserve this function, as indicated by the parameters of metabolic control (insulin dose, HbA1C). After suspension of CyA, insulin requirement returns to control values, suggesting loss of residual β-cell function. The effects induced by withdrawal of NA after 1 year are not known. For the first time, we studied 27 type 1 diabetes patients treated with NA for 12 months and then followed up for 1 year after discontinuance of NA. Another 25 patients treated with NA + CyA and 28 control patients were followed up similarly. Insulin requirement doubled 12 months after discontinuance of NA or NA + CyA, becoming identical to that of controls. As patients showed HbA1C values similar to control subjects, it is likely that β-cell function deteriorated after discontinuance of therapy. As NA is safer than other agents and its effects are beneficial, longer studies are warranted to investigate NA in prolonged treatments since this compound is also being considered for prevention of type 1 diabetes.
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