Empagliflozin/linagliptin single-pill combination therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus


INTRODUCTION: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is typically progressive, with sequential addition of therapies often needed to address increasing hyperglycemia over the disease course. Using treatments in combination may be preferred to sequential addition, as a means of providing a more rapid clinical response and potentially avoiding clinical inertia. In such cases, a single-pill combination can help to reduce pill burden. Although various single-pill combinations of oral glucose-lowering agents are available, empagliflozin/linagliptin was the first approved combination of a sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor with a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor in the United States. Areas covered: Two publications of the clinical trial investigating the efficacy and safety of single-pill combinations of empagliflozin/linagliptin in treatment-naive or metformin-treated patients with T2DM (NCT01422876) are reviewed, and their potential impact on clinical practice is discussed. Expert opinion: The study discussed provides evidence for the efficacy and safety of empagliflozin/linagliptin single pills. Addition of an empagliflozin/linagliptin single pill may be considered in patients with inadequate glycemic control on metformin, or as an alternative to first-line treatment with empagliflozin or linagliptin when metformin is not suitable, particularly in patients with very poor glycemic control, or those who need to achieve target more quickly.

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