May 22, 2017
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"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Taking glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogues is associated with an increased risk of bile duct and gallbladder disease, but not pancreatitis, in people with type 2 diabetes, according to two new studies.




Side Effects


Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.


The safety of concomitantly administered linagliptin (daily dose 5 mg) and metformin (mean daily dose of approximately 1800 mg) has been evaluated in 2816 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated for ≥ 12 weeks in clinical trials.

Three placebo-controlled studies with linagliptin + metformin were conducted: 2 studies were 24 weeks in duration, 1 study was 12 weeks in duration. In the 3 placebo-controlled clinical studies, adverse events which occurred in ≥ 5% of patients receiving linagliptin + metformin (n=875) and were more common than in patients given placebo + metformin (n=539) included nasopharyngitis (5.7% vs 4.3%).

In a 24-week factorial design study, adverse events reported in ≥ 5% of patients receiving linagliptin + metformin and were more common than in patients given placebo are shown in Table 1.

Table 1 : Adverse Reactions Reported in ≥ 5% of Patients Treated with Linagliptin + Metformin and Greater than with Placebo in a 24-week Factorial-Design Study

  Placebo n=72 Linagliptin Monotherapy n=142 Metformin Monotherapy n=291 Combination of Linagliptin with Metformin n=286
n (%) n (%) n (%) n (%)
Nasopharyngitis 1 (1.4) 8 (5.6) 8 (2.7) 18 (6.3)
Diarrhea 2 (2.8) 5 (3.5) 11 (3.8) 18 (6.3)

Other adverse reactions reported in clinical studies with treatment of linagliptin + metformin were hypersensitivity (e.g., urticaria, angioedema, or bronchial hyperreactivity), cough, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, pruritus, and pancreatitis.


Adverse reactions reported in ≥ 2% of patients treated with linagliptin 5 mg and more commonly than in patients treated with placebo included: nasopharyngitis (7.0% vs 6.1%), diarrhea (3.3% vs 3.0%), and cough (2.1% vs 1.4%).

Rates for other adverse reactions for linagliptin 5 mg vs placebo when linagliptin was used in combination with specific anti-diabetic agents were: urinary tract infection (3.1% vs 0%) and hypertriglyceridemia (2.4% vs 0%) when linagliptin was used as add-on to sulfonylurea; hyperlipidemia (2.7% vs 0.8%) and weight increased (2.3% vs 0.8%) when linagliptin was used as add-on to pioglitazone; and constipation (2.1% vs 1%) when linagliptin was used as add-on to basal insulin therapy.

Other adverse reactions reported in clinical studies with treatment of linagliptin monotherapy were hypersensitivity (e.g., urticaria, angioedema, localized skin exfoliation, or bronchial hyperreactivity) and myalgia. In the clinical trial program, pancreatitis was reported in 15.2 cases per 10,000 patient year exposure while being treated with linagliptin compared with 3.7 cases per 10,000 patient year exposure while being treated with comparator (placebo and active comparator, sulfonylurea). Three additional cases of pancreatitis were reported following the last administered dose of linagliptin.


The most common adverse reactions due to initiation of metformin are diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, flatulence, asthenia, indigestion, abdominal discomfort, and headache.

Long-term treatment with metformin has been associated with a decrease in vitamin B12 absorption which may very rarely result in clinically significant vitamin B12 deficiency (e.g., megaloblastic anemia) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].



In a 24-week factorial design study, hypoglycemia was reported in 4 (1.4%) of 286 subjects treated with linagliptin + metformin, 6 (2.1%) of 291 subjects treated with metformin, and 1 (1.4%) of 72 subjects treated with placebo. When linagliptin was administered in combination with metformin and a sulfonylurea, 181 (22.9%) of 792 patients reported hypoglycemia compared with 39 (14.8%) of 263 patients administered placebo in combination with metformin and sulfonylurea. Adverse reactions of hypoglycemia were based on all reports of hypoglycemia. A concurrent glucose measurement was not required or was normal in some patients. Therefore, it is not possible to conclusively determine that all these reports reflect true hypoglycemia.


In the study of patients receiving linagliptin as add-on therapy to a stable dose of insulin for up to 52 weeks (n=1261), no significant difference in the incidence of investigator reported hypoglycemia, defined as all symptomatic or asymptomatic episodes with a self-measured blood glucose ≤ 70 mg/dL, was noted between the linagliptin-(31.4%) and placebo-(32.9%) treated groups.

Use in Renal Impairment

Linagliptin was compared to placebo as add-on to pre-existing antidiabetic therapy over 52 weeks in 133 patients with severe renal impairment (estimated GFR < 30 mL/min). For the initial 12 weeks of the study, background antidiabetic therapy was kept stable and included insulin, sulfonylurea, glinides, and pioglitazone. For the remainder of the trial, dose adjustments in antidiabetic background therapy were allowed.

In general, the incidence of adverse events including severe hypoglycemia was similar to those reported in other linagliptin trials. The observed incidence of hypoglycemia was higher (linagliptin, 63% compared to placebo, 49%) due to an increase in asymptomatic hypoglycemic events especially during the first 12 weeks when background glycemic therapies were kept stable. Ten linagliptin-treated patients (15%) and 11 placebo-treated patients (17%) reported at least one episode of confirmed symptomatic hypoglycemia (accompanying finger stick glucose ≤ 54 mg/dL). During the same time period, severe hypoglycemic events, defined as an event requiring the assistance of another person to actively administer carbohydrate, glucagon or other resuscitative actions, were reported in 3 (4.4%) linagliptin-treated patients and 3 (4.6%) placebo-treated patients. Events that were considered life-threatening or required hospitalization were reported in 2 (2.9%) patients on linagliptin and 1 (1.5%) patient on placebo.

Renal function as measured by mean eGFR and creatinine clearance did not change over 52 weeks' treatment compared to placebo.

Laboratory Tests

Changes in laboratory findings were similar in patients treated with linagliptin + metformin compared to patients treated with placebo + metformin. Changes in laboratory values that occurred more frequently in the linagliptin + metformin group and ≥ 1% more than in the placebo group were not detected.

No clinically meaningful changes in vital signs were observed in patients treated with linagliptin.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of linagliptin. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is generally not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Read the Jentadueto (linagliptin and metformin hydrochloride) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


Drug Interactions With Metformin

Cationic Drugs

Cationic drugs (e.g., amiloride, digoxin, morphine, procainamide, quinidine, quinine, ranitidine, triamterene, trimethoprim, or vancomycin) that are eliminated by renal tubular secretion theoretically have the potential for interaction with metformin by competing for common renal tubular transport systems. Although such interactions remain theoretical (except for cimetidine), careful patient monitoring and dose adjustment of JENTADUETO and/or the interfering drug is recommended in patients who are taking cationic medications that are excreted via the proximal renal tubular secretory system [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors

Topiramate or other carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (e.g., zonisamide, acetazolamide or dichlorphenamide) frequently decrease serum bicarbonate and induce non-anion gap, hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis. Concomitant use of these drugs may induce metabolic acidosis. Use these drugs with caution in patients treated with JENTADUETO, as the risk of lactic acidosis may increase [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Drug Interactions With Linagliptin

Inducers of P-glycoprotein and CYP3A4 Enzymes

Rifampin decreased linagliptin exposure, suggesting that the efficacy of linagliptin may be reduced when administered in combination with a strong P-gp inducer or CYP 3A4 inducer. As JENTADUETO is a fixed-dose combination of linagliptin and metformin, use of alternative treatments (not containing linagliptin) is strongly recommended when concomitant treatment with a strong P-gp or CYP 3A4 inducer is necessary [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Drugs Affecting Glycemic Control

Certain drugs tend to produce hyperglycemia and may lead to loss of glycemic control. These drugs include the thiazides and other diuretics, corticosteroids, phenothiazines, thyroid products, estrogens, oral contraceptives, phenytoin, nicotinic acid, sympathomimetics, calcium channel blocking drugs, and isoniazid. When such drugs are administered to a patient receiving JENTADUETO, the patient should be closely observed to maintain adequate glycemic control [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. When such drugs are withdrawn from a patient receiving JENTADUETO, the patient should be observed closely for hypoglycemia.

Read the Jentadueto Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/17/2015

Side Effects

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