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Combination Drugs

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