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Triple Impact: The FDA Approves a Pill That Combines Three Drugs for Type 2 Diabetes

Updated: 8/14/21 2:00 amPublished: 6/14/19
By Jeemin Kwon

By Jeemin Kwon and Ann Carracher

A once-daily pill combining metformin, Farxiga, and Onglyza helps lower A1C and support weight loss​

The FDA has approved the first pill to conveniently combine three different drugs for adults with type 2 diabetes. Qternmet XR is a once-daily pill combining the SGLT-2 inhibitor Farxiga, DPP-4 inhibitor Onglyza, and an extended release (XR) form of metformin. In clinical trials, the triple combination drug resulted in lower A1C and more weight loss compared to the individual components.

The clinical trial (sponsored by the manufacturer, AstraZeneca) found that on average, people taking Qternmet XR:

  • Lowered their A1C by 1.0%, compared to 0.7% with Onglyza plus metformin and 0.6% with Farxiga plus metformin; the average starting A1C was 8.2%.
  • Lost 4.4 pounds (2 kg) (average starting weight of 191 pounds; 87 kg). This compared to about 1 pound (0.4 kg) of weight loss on Onglyza plus metformin (starting weight 203 pounds; 92 kg) and 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg) of weight loss on Farxiga plus metformin (starting weight 197 pounds; 90 kg).

When will Qternmet XR be available?

It is unclear when Qternmet XR will be available in pharmacies. This article will be updated when this is known.

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