How do they work?
Combination drugs work by putting multiple different drugs (usually different drug classes) into a single medication. These drug therapies can be injectable (for example a GLP-1 receptor agonist combined with basal insulin in a single injection) or a “fixed-ratio combination” tablet that can be taken orally (for example metformin combined with an SGLT-2 inhibitor into a single pill).
Who uses combination drugs?
These drugs are primarily used in people with type 2 diabetes since many of these medications combine drug classes that are only approved for this population (such as GLP-1s, SGLT-2s, and metformin).
What are the benefits?
Though not always the case, the use of combination drugs can lead to:
- Improved drug effectiveness
- Reduction in the overall side effects (compared to taking multiple drugs separately)
- Fewer total injections and pills
- Decrease co-pays and total cost resulting from fewer different individual medications.
- Improved medication adherence
- Easier overall diabetes regimen
What are the drawbacks?
- It can be harder to adjust the medication dose since many of the combination drugs are combined in fixed ratios to one another.
Commonly used combination drugs:
- Janumet / Janumet XR (sitagliptin + metformin or metformin extended release)
- Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin + metformin extended release)
- Jentadueto / Jentadueto XR (linagliptin + metformin or metformin extended release)
- Invokamet / Invokamet XR (canagliflozin + metformin or metformin extended release)
- Synjardy / Synjardy XR (empagliflozin + metformin or metformin extended release)
- ActoPlus Met / ActoPlus Met XR (pioglitazone + metformin or metformin extended release)
- Kazano (alogliptin + metformin)
- Oseni (alogliptin + pioglitazone)
- Xultophy (insulin degludec + liraglutide)
- Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin + metformin extended release)
- Glyxambi (empagliflozin + linagliptin)
- Soliqua (insulin glargine + lixisenatide)
- Steglujan (ertugliflozin + sitagliptin)
- Segluromet (ertugliflozin + metformin)
- Eucreas (vildagliptin + metformin)*
- Avandamet (metformin + rosiglitazone)
- Glucovance (glyburide + metformin)
- Trijardy XR (empagliflozin + linagliptin + metformin)
- Qtern (dapagliflozin + saxagliptin)
- PrandiMet (metformin + repaglinide)
- Metaglip (glipizide + metformin)
- Juvisync (simvastatin + sitagliptin)
- Duetact (glimepiride + pioglitazone)
- Avandaryl (glimepiride + rosiglitazone)
*Not approved in USA
Last updated: August 2, 2021