Combination Drug Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes: Is it Safe?

Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in News | 1 comment

A wide combination of diabetic drugs is now frequently being used to treat type 2 diabetes. In the past, the available drugs didn’t always allow for safe combinations, but with newer and safer drugs, combination therapy appears to be the norm.

Just recently, the combination of metformin with the relatively new diabetic drug linagliptin was announced. In Europe, this combination is already available as a single tablet taken twice a day. This combination is intended for type 2 diabetics whose blood sugars are not controlled with maximum doses of metformin alone.

In a recent trial, this combination proved to be safe and effective for type 2 diabetes. In addition, the combination did not cause any significant changes in body weight. More important, adverse effects were not common. However, hypoglycemia was slightly more common in patients treated with metformin/linagliptin and a sulfonylurea.

So far it appears that the combination of metformin with linaglitpin is effective in lowering blood sugars in type 2 diabetics who still have residual pancreatic function.

For type 2 diabetics who have high glucose levels while on maximal metformin therapy, the addition of linagliptin may prove beneficial. Unfortunately, linagliptin is an expensive drug. For those who do not have the money to afford linagliptin, exercise and lowering bodyweight may be two good options.


Contributed by Dr. Steven Bhimji, M.D.
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