May 24, 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.






Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Lactic Acidosis


Lactic acidosis is a serious, metabolic complication that can occur due to metformin accumulation during treatment with JENTADUETO and is fatal in approximately 50% of cases. Lactic acidosis may also occur in association with a number of pathophysiologic conditions, including diabetes mellitus, and whenever there is significant tissue hypoperfusion and hypoxemia. Lactic acidosis is characterized by elevated blood lactate levels ( > 5 mmol/L), decreased blood pH, electrolyte disturbances with an increased anion gap, and an increased lactate/pyruvate ratio. When metformin is implicated as the cause of lactic acidosis, metformin plasma levels of > 5 μg/mL are generally found.

The reported incidence of lactic acidosis in patients receiving metformin is approximately 0.03 cases/1000 patient-years, (with approximately 0.015 fatal cases/1000 patient-years). In more than 20,000 patient-years exposure to metformin in clinical trials, there were no reports of lactic acidosis. Reported cases have occurred primarily in diabetic patients with significant renal impairment, including both intrinsic renal disease and renal hypoperfusion, often in the setting of multiple concomitant medical/surgical problems and multiple concomitant medications. Patients with congestive heart failure requiring pharmacologic management, particularly when accompanied by hypoperfusion and hypoxemia due to unstable or acute failure, are at increased risk of lactic acidosis. The risk of lactic acidosis increases with the degree of renal impairment and the patient's age. The risk of lactic acidosis may, therefore, be significantly decreased by regular monitoring of renal function in patients taking metformin. In particular, treatment of the elderly should be accompanied by careful monitoring of renal function. Metformin treatment should not be initiated in any patient unless measurement of creatinine clearance demonstrates that renal function is not reduced. In addition, metformin should be promptly withheld in the presence of any condition associated with hypoxemia, dehydration, or sepsis. Because impaired hepatic function may significantly limit the ability to clear lactate, metformin should be avoided in patients with clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic impairment. Patients should be cautioned against excessive alcohol intake when taking metformin, since alcohol potentiates the effects of metformin on lactate metabolism. In addition, metformin should be temporarily discontinued prior to any intravascular radiocontrast study and for any surgical procedure necessitating restricted intake of food or fluids. Use of topiramate, a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, in epilepsy and migraine prophylaxis may cause dose-dependent metabolic acidosis and may exacerbate the risk of metformin-induced lactic acidosis [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

The onset of lactic acidosis is often subtle, and accompanied by nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgias, respiratory distress, increasing somnolence, and nonspecific abdominal distress. More severe acidosis may be associated with signs such as hypothermia, hypotension, and resistant bradyarrhythmias. Patients should be educated to recognize and promptly report these symptoms. If present, JENTADUETO should be discontinued until lactic acidosis is ruled out. Gastrointestinal symptoms, which are commonly reported during initiation of metformin therapy are less frequently observed in subjects on a chronic, stable, dose of metformin. Gastrointestinal symptoms in subjects on chronic, stable, dose of metformin could be caused by lactic acidosis or other serious disease.

To rule out lactic acidosis, serum electrolytes, ketones, blood glucose, blood pH, lactate levels, and blood metformin levels may be useful. Levels of fasting venous plasma lactate above the upper limit of normal but less than 5 mmol/L in patients taking metformin do not necessarily indicate impending lactic acidosis and may be due to other mechanisms, such as poorly-controlled diabetes or obesity, vigorous physical activity, or technical problems in sample handling.

Lactic acidosis should be suspected in any diabetic patient with metabolic acidosis lacking evidence of ketoacidosis (ketonuria and ketonemia). Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency that must be treated in a hospital setting. In a patient with lactic acidosis who is taking metformin, the drug should be discontinued immediately and supportive measures promptly instituted. Metformin is dialyzable (clearance of up to 170 mL/min under good hemodynamic conditions) and prompt hemodialysis is recommended to remove the accumulated metformin and correct the metabolic acidosis. Such management often results in prompt reversal of symptoms and recovery [see BOXED WARNING].


There have been postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis, including fatal pancreatitis, in patients taking linagliptin. Take careful notice of potential signs and symptoms of pancreatitis. If pancreatitis is suspected, promptly discontinue JENTADUETO and initiate appropriate management. It is unknown whether patients with a history of pancreatitis are at increased risk for the development of pancreatitis while using JENTADUETO.

Monitoring Of Renal Function

Although linagliptin undergoes minimal renal excretion, metformin is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney. The risk of metformin accumulation and lactic acidosis increases with the degree of renal impairment. Therefore, JENTADUETO is contraindicated in patients with renal impairment.

Before initiation of therapy with JENTADUETO and at least annually thereafter, renal function should be assessed and verified to be normal. In patients in whom development of renal impairment is anticipated (e.g., elderly), renal function should be assessed more frequently and JENTADUETO discontinued if evidence of renal impairment is present.

Linagliptin may be continued as a single entity tablet at the same total daily dose of 5 mg if JENTADUETO is discontinued due to evidence of renal impairment. No dose adjustment of linagliptin is recommended in patients with renal impairment.

Use of concomitant medications that may affect renal function or metformin disposition

Concomitant medication(s) that may affect renal function or result in significant hemodynamic change or interfere with the disposition of metformin should be used with caution [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Radiological Studies and Surgical Procedures

Radiologic studies involving the use of intravascular iodinated contrast materials (e.g., intravenous urogram, intravenous cholangiography, angiography, and computed tomography) can lead to acute alteration of renal function and have been associated with lactic acidosis in patients receiving metformin. Therefore, in patients in whom any such study is planned, JENTADUETO should be temporarily discontinued at the time of or prior to the procedure, and withheld for 48 hours subsequent to the procedure and reinstituted only after renal function has been confirmed to be normal.

JENTADUETO should be temporarily discontinued for any surgical procedure (except minor procedures not associated with restricted intake of food and fluids) and should not be restarted until the patient's oral intake has resumed and renal function has been evaluated as normal.

Impaired Hepatic Function

Because impaired hepatic function has been associated with some cases of lactic acidosis with metformin therapy, JENTADUETO should generally be avoided in patients with clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic disease [see Lactic Acidosis].

Use With Medications Known To Cause Hypoglycemia


Insulin secretagogues and insulin are known to cause hypoglycemia. The use of linagliptin in combination with an insulin secretagogue (e.g., sulfonylurea) was associated with a higher rate of hypoglycemia compared with placebo in a clinical trial [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. The use of linagliptin in combination with insulin in subjects with severe renal impairment was associated with a higher rate of hypoglycemia [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Therefore, a lower dose of the insulin secretagogue or insulin may be required to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia when used in combination with JENTADUETO [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].


Hypoglycemia does not occur in patients receiving metformin alone under usual circumstances of use, but could occur when caloric intake is deficient, when strenuous exercise is not compensated by caloric supplementation, or during concomitant use with other glucose-lowering agents (such as SUs and insulin) or ethanol. Elderly, debilitated, or malnourished patients, and those with adrenal or pituitary insufficiency or alcohol intoxication are particularly susceptible to hypoglycemic effects. Hypoglycemia may be difficult to recognize in the elderly, and in people who are taking β-adrenergic blocking drugs.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

There have been postmarketing reports of serious hypersensitivity reactions in patients treated with linagliptin (one of the components of JENTADUETO). These reactions include anaphylaxis, angioedema, and exfoliative skin conditions. Onset of these reactions occurred within the first 3 months after initiation of treatment with linagliptin, with some reports occurring after the first dose. If a serious hypersensitivity reaction is suspected, discontinue JENTADUETO, assess for other potential causes for the event, and institute alternative treatment for diabetes.

Angioedema has also been reported with other dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. Use caution in a patient with a history of angioedema to another DPP-4 inhibitor because it is unknown whether such patients will be predisposed to angioedema with JENTADUETO.

Vitamin B12 Levels

In controlled, 29-week clinical trials of metformin, a decrease to subnormal levels of previously normal serum vitamin B12 levels, without clinical manifestations, was observed in approximately 7% of metformin-treated patients. Such decrease, possibly due to interference with B12 absorption from the B12-intrinsic factor complex, is, however, very rarely associated with anemia or neurologic manifestations due to the short duration ( < 1 year) of the clinical trials. This risk may be more relevant to patients receiving long-term treatment with metformin, and adverse hematologic and neurologic reactions have been reported postmarketing. The decrease in vitamin B12 levels appears to be rapidly reversible with discontinuation of metformin or vitamin B12 supplementation. Measurement of hematologic parameters on an annual basis is advised in patients on JENTADUETO and any apparent abnormalities should be appropriately investigated and managed. Certain individuals (those with inadequate vitamin B12 or calcium intake or absorption) appear to be predisposed to developing subnormal vitamin B12 levels. In these patients, routine serum vitamin B12 measurement at 2-to 3-year intervals may be useful.

Alcohol Intake

Alcohol is known to potentiate the effect of metformin on lactate metabolism. Patients, therefore, should be warned against excessive alcohol intake while receiving JENTADUETO [see Lactic Acidosis].

Hypoxic States

Cardiovascular collapse (shock) from whatever cause (e.g., acute congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and other conditions characterized by hypoxemia) have been associated with lactic acidosis and may also cause prerenal azotemia. When such events occur in patients on JENTADUETO therapy, the drug should be promptly discontinued [see Lactic Acidosis].

Macrovascular Outcomes

There have been no clinical studies establishing conclusive evidence of macrovascular risk reduction with linagliptin or metformin or any other antidiabetic drug.

Patient Counseling Information

Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide)

Medication Guide

Instruct patients to read the Medication Guide before starting JENTADUETO therapy and to reread each time the prescription is renewed. Instruct patients to inform their doctor if they develop any bothersome or unusual symptoms, or if any symptom persists or worsens.

Inform patients of the potential risks and benefits of JENTADUETO and of alternative modes of therapy. Also inform patients about the importance of adherence to dietary instructions, regular physical activity, periodic blood glucose monitoring and A1C testing, recognition and management of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, and assessment for diabetes complications. Advise patients to seek medical advice promptly during periods of stress such as fever, trauma, infection, or surgery, as medication requirements may change.

Lactic Acidosis

Inform patients of the risks of lactic acidosis due to the metformin component, its symptoms, and conditions that predispose to its development [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Advise patients to discontinue JENTADUETO immediately and to notify their doctor promptly if unexplained hyperventilation, malaise, myalgia, unusual somnolence, slow or irregular heart beat, sensation of feeling cold (especially in the extremities), or other nonspecific symptoms occur. GI symptoms are common during initiation of metformin treatment and may occur during initiation of JENTADUETO therapy; however, advise patients to consult their doctor if they develop unexplained symptoms. Although GI symptoms that occur after stabilization are unlikely to be drug related, such an occurrence of symptoms should be evaluated to determine if it may be due to metformin-induced lactic acidosis or other serious disease.


Inform patients that acute pancreatitis has been reported during postmarketing use of linagliptin. Inform patients that persistent severe abdominal pain, sometimes radiating to the back, which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting, is the hallmark symptom of acute pancreatitis. Instruct patients to discontinue JENTADUETO promptly and contact their physician if persistent severe abdominal pain occurs [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Monitoring of Renal

Function Inform patients about the importance of regular testing of renal function and hematological parameters when receiving treatment with JENTADUETO.

Instruct patients to inform their doctor that they are taking JENTADUETO prior to any surgical or radiological procedure, as temporary discontinuation of JENTADUETO may be required until renal function has been confirmed to be normal [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].


Inform patients that the risk of hypoglycemia is increased when JENTADUETO is used in combination with an insulin secretagogue (e.g., sulfonylurea), and that a lower dose of the insulin secretagogue may be required to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Inform patients that serious allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, angioedema, and exfoliative skin conditions, have been reported during postmarketing use of linagliptin (one of the components of JENTADUETO). If symptoms of allergic reactions (such as rash, skin flaking or peeling, urticaria, swelling of the skin, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing) occur, patients must stop taking JENTADUETO and seek medical advice promptly [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Missed Dose

Instruct patients to take JENTADUETO only as prescribed. If a dose is missed, advise patients not to double their next dose.

Alcohol Intake

Warn patients against excessive alcohol intake, either acute or chronic, while receiving JENTADUETO [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Blood Glucose and A1C Monitoring

Inform patients that response to all diabetic therapies should be monitored by periodic measurements of blood glucose and A1C levels, with a goal of decreasing these levels toward the normal range. A1C monitoring is especially useful for evaluating long-term glycemic control.

Renal Function and Other Hematologic Parameters Monitoring

Inform patients that initial and periodic monitoring of hematologic parameters (e.g., hemoglobin/hematocrit and red blood cell indices) and renal function (e.g., serum creatinine) should be performed, at least on an annual basis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility


No animal studies have been conducted with the combined products in JENTADUETO to evaluate carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, or impairment of fertility. General toxicity studies in rats up to 13 weeks were performed with JENTADUETO.

The following data are based on the findings in studies with linagliptin and metformin individually.


Linagliptin did not increase the incidence of tumors in male and female rats in a 2-year study at doses of 6, 18, and 60 mg/kg. The highest dose of 60 mg/kg is approximately 418 times the clinical dose of 5 mg/day based on AUC exposure. Linagliptin did not increase the incidence of tumors in mice in a 2-year study at doses up to 80 mg/kg (males) and 25 mg/kg (females), or approximately 35 and 270 times the clinical dose based on AUC exposure. Higher doses of linagliptin in female mice (80 mg/kg) increased the incidence of lymphoma at approximately 215 times the clinical dose based on AUC exposure.

Linagliptin was not mutagenic or clastogenic with or without metabolic activation in the Ames bacterial mutagenicity assay, a chromosomal aberration test in human lymphocytes, and an in vivo micronucleus assay.

In fertility studies in rats, linagliptin had no adverse effects on early embryonic development, mating, fertility, or bearing live young up to the highest dose of 240 mg/kg (approximately 943 times the clinical dose based on AUC exposure).

Metformin hydrochloride

Long-term carcinogenicity studies have been performed in rats (dosing duration of 104 weeks) and mice (dosing duration of 91 weeks) at doses up to and including 900 mg/kg/day and 1500 mg/kg/day, respectively. These doses are both approximately 4 times the maximum recommended human daily dose of 2000 mg/kg/day based on body surface area comparisons. No evidence of carcinogenicity with metformin was found in either male or female mice. Similarly, there was no tumorigenic potential observed with metformin in male rats. There was, however, an increased incidence of benign stromal uterine polyps in female rats treated with 900 mg/kg/day.

There was no evidence of a mutagenic potential of metformin in the following in vitro tests: Ames test (Salmonella typhimurium), gene mutation test (mouse lymphoma cells), or chromosomal aberrations test (human lymphocytes). Results in the in vivo mouse micronucleus test were also negative.

Fertility of male or female rats was unaffected by metformin when administered at doses as high as 600 mg/kg/day, which is approximately 2 times the MRHD based on body surface area comparisons.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category B


There are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women with JENTADUETO or its individual components, and some clinical data is available for metformin which indicate that the risk for major malformations was not increased when metformin is taken during the first trimester in pregnancy. In addition, metformin was not associated with increased perinatal complications. Nevertheless, because these clinical data cannot rule out the possibility of harm, JENTADUETO should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

JENTADUETO was not teratogenic when administered to Wistar Han rats during the period of organogenesis at doses similar to clinical exposure. At higher maternally toxic doses (9 and 23 times the clinical dose based on exposure), the metformin component of the combination was associated with an increased incidence of fetal rib and scapula malformations.


Linagliptin was not teratogenic when administered to pregnant Wistar Han rats and Himalayan rabbits during the period of organogenesis at doses up to 240 mg/kg and 150 mg/kg, respectively. These doses represent approximately 943 times the clinical dose in rats and 1943 times the clinical dose in rabbits, based on exposure. No functional, behavioral, or reproductive toxicity was observed in offspring of female Wistar Han rats when administered linagliptin from gestation day 6 to lactation day 21 at a dose 49 times the maximum recommended human dose, based on exposure.

Linagliptin crosses the placenta into the fetus following oral dosing in pregnant rats and rabbits.

Metformin hydrochloride

Metformin has been studied for embryo-fetal effects in 2 rat strains and in rabbits. Metformin was not teratogenic in Sprague Dawley rats up to 600 mg/kg or in Wistar Han rats up to 200 mg/kg (2-3 times the clinical dose based on body surface area or exposure, respectively). At higher maternally toxic doses (9 and 23 times the clinical dose based on exposure), an increased incidence of rib and scapula skeletal malformations was observed in the Wistar Han strain. Metformin was not teratogenic in rabbits at doses up to 140 mg/kg (similar to clinical dose based on body surface area).

Metformin administered to female Sprague Dawley rats from gestation day 6 to lactation day 21 up to 600 mg/kg/day (2 times the maximum clinical dose based on body surface area) had no effect on prenatal or postnatal development of offspring.

Metformin crosses the placenta into the fetus in rats and humans.

Nursing Mothers

No studies in lactating animals have been conducted with the combined components of JENTADUETO. In studies performed with the individual components, both linagliptin and metformin were secreted in the milk of lactating rats. It is not known whether linagliptin is excreted in human milk. Metformin is excreted in human milk in low concentrations. Because the potential for hypoglycemia in nursing infants may exist, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of JENTADUETO in pediatric patients under 18 years of age have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Linagliptin is minimally excreted by the kidney; however, metformin is substantially excreted by the kidney. Considering that aging can be associated with reduced renal function, JENTADUETO should be used with caution as age increases [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].


There were 4040 type 2 diabetes patients treated with linagliptin 5 mg from 15 clinical trials of linagliptin; 1085 (27%) patients were 65 years and over, while 131 (3%) were 75 years and over. Of these patients, 2566 were enrolled in 12 double-blind placebo-controlled studies; 591 (23%) were 65 years and over, while 82 (3%) were 75 years and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between patients 65 years and over and younger patients. Therefore, no dose adjustment is recommended in the elderly population. While clinical studies of linagliptin have not identified differences in response between the elderly and younger patients, greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.


Controlled clinical studies of metformin did not include sufficient numbers of elderly patients to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients, although other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and young patients. The initial and maintenance dosing of metformin should be conservative in patients with advanced age, due to the potential for decreased renal function in this population. Any dose adjustment should be based on a careful assessment of renal function [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

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

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/17/2015


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