Even though some people with type 2 diabetes take more than one medication, they may still find it difficult to get their blood sugar under control. They could take even more pills, but that can be challenging. So it’s worth knowing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved a diabetes medication that combines three diabetes drugs in a single tablet.
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The medication is called Trijardy XR, and it’s marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly. Trijardy is a combination of three diabetes medications: empagliflozin (brand name Jardiance), linagliptin (Tradjenta) and an extended-release version of metformin. Both empagliflozin and linagliptin are tablets that patients with type 2 diabetes take once a day to lower blood sugar. Empagliflozin is also used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in patients with diabetes who have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Metformin, one of the most common diabetes medications, makes the body more sensitive to insulin and decreases glucose production by the liver.
The effectiveness of Trijardy was determined in two randomized open-label trials that compared the effectiveness of the three-in-one combination pill to the medications taken separately. The researchers reported that Trijardy’s safety was equivalent to the individual components. Trijardy will be available in four dosages; it’s not recommended for people who have type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a condition that occurs when long-term high blood sugar causes an accumulation of acids in the blood.
Mohamed Eid, MD, vice president at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, said: “We are proud to offer Trijardy XR as a new once-daily option combining three well-established medicines, including an extended-release version of metformin, the most commonly prescribed initial treatment for type 2 diabetes, Jardiance, the most prescribed SGLT2 inhibitor, and Tradjenta, the only single-dose DPP-4 inhibitor. We believe Trijardy XR has the potential to help adults with type 2 diabetes conveniently manage their treatment, especially those who are taking other medications and working on the necessary lifestyle changes.”
Another benefit of the three-in-one pill is that Trijardy requires only one prescription, not three separate ones, and only one co-pay.