New daily diabetes pill okayed

A new daily diabetes pill, for treating the type 2 form of the disease, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Jentadueto XR combines 2.5 mg or 5 mg of linagliptin with 1000 mg of metformin in a single diabetes pill. Linagliptin works by increasing hormones that stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin and the liver to produce less glucose. Metformin lowers glucose production by the liver and its absorption in the intestine.

“Adults with type 2 diabetes are often required to take more than one medication to manage their condition, including some that have to be taken multiple times a day,” says Paul Fonteyne, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals’ president and CEO.   “Jentadueto XR…offers adults with type 2 diabetes the convenience of a combination pill taken once a day to help lower blood sugar levels.”

Doctors warn that Jentadueto XR  should not be used in patients with type 1 diabetes or for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis and they caution that it hasn’t been studied in people with a history of pancreatitis.  The drug also contains a warning that there is a risk of  lactic acidosis, a build-up of lactic acid in the blood.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body either does not properly produce, or use, the hormone insulin.  Approximately 29 million Americans, and an estimated 415 million people worldwide, have diabetes.  It’s believed that nearly 28 percent of Americans with diabetes—totaling 8 million people—are undiagnosed. In the U.S., approximately 12 percent of those aged 20 and older have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, accounting for an estimated 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed adult diabetes cases in the U.S.  Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults.  It used to be known as juvenile diabetes.  Only about 5 percent of diabetes patients have this form of the disease.

More information about diabetes can be found on the web site of the American Diabetes Association.


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Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at Rx411. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years. This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns. He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C.