Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Effect of chloroquine on insulin and glucose homoeostasis in normal subjects and patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 21 February 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:465
  1. G D Smith,
  2. T A Amos,
  3. R Mahler,
  4. T J Peters


    Plasma glucose, insulin, and C peptide concentrations were determined after an oral glucose load in normal subjects and in a group of patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus before and during a short course of treatment with chloroquine. In the control group there was a small but significant reduction in fasting blood glucose concentration but overall glucose tolerance and hormone concentrations were unaffected. In contrast, the patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus showed a significant improvement in their glucose tolerance, which paralleled the severity of their diabetes. This response seems to reflect decreased degradation of insulin rather than increased pancreatic output. These observations suggest that treatment with chloroquine or suitable analogues may be a new approach to the management of diabetes.