What is Tradjenta (Linagliptin)?
Tradjenta is an oral, once-daily drug developed for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2. Its active ingredient is a generic medication called linagliptin, which belongs to the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor (DPP-4 inhibitor) or gliptin family of antidiabetic drugs.
What is it used for?
Tradjenta is used alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise to help improve the regulation of blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. It may be used alone or as part of a combination therapy with other blood sugar lowering drugs. It is not recommended for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, or for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.
The drug can be used:
- alone in patients who cannot take metformin
- in combination with metformin
- in combination with a sulfonylurea
- in combination with metformin and a sulfonylurea
How does Trajenta work?
Tradjenta is a member of a large class of antidiabetic medicines called DPP-4 inhibitors (dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors), which help you to regulate your levels of insulin, especially after a meal when blood sugar levels are high. It also helps you decrease the amount of sugar that is made by your body itself.
DPP-4 inhibitors prevent certain hormones involved with eating and insulin regulation from being broken down. This allows for more insulin to be released from pancreatic beta cells while staggering glucagon release, which prevents blood sugar level increases. In general, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it can help your body produce more insulin and lower blood sugar levels.
How to take this medication
Remember to always let your doctor or pharmacist know about all the medicines you take. This includes all prescription and non-prescription medicines, and also all herbal supplements.
Tradjenta is recommended to be taken daily, with or without food.
Before starting to take Tradjenta, always remember to follow your doctor’s instructions. The usual starting dose for an adult is one 5 mg tablet, taken once daily, with or without food.
If you should forget to take a dose, then take the dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Never take a double dose in order to make up for a forgotten dose, and do not take two doses on the same day.
In case of an accidental drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Center immediately, even if there you have no apparent symptoms.
Warnings and Precautions
The medicine should not be taken if:
- you have any allergies to linagliptin or any of the non-medicinal ingredients
- you have type 1 diabetes
- you have diabetic ketoacidosis (a diabetic complication with high blood sugar, vomiting, nausea, or rapid weight loss).
Before you begin to use this medicine talk to your doctor if:
- you are taking insulin
- you are taking an antidiabetic medicine known as a “sulfonylurea”
- you have had allergic reactions in the past to any other medicines that help you regulate your blood sugar levels
- you have or have had pancreas problems such as pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- you have liver problems
- you have congestive heart failure or any other type of heart problems
- you have any skin problems
- you are currently pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant
- you are currently breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
Tradjenta side effects
Common negative effects may include:
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Inflamed nose or throat (nasopharyngitis)
If you take this medication with any sulfonylurea medications, you may experience low blood sugar levels. You should stop taking Trajdjenta and contact your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of low blood sugar, such as anxiety, trembling, sweating, paleness, mood change, blurred vision, tingling lips, confusion.
Less common negative effects may include:
- Severe allergic reaction (hypersensitivity)
- Joint pain
- High blood triglycerides
- Swelling of the face, mouth, lips, tongue or throat, which may cause difficulty in breathing (angioedema) or swallowing
- Hives or nettle rash (urticaria)
Rare negative effects may include:
- Inflammation of pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Mouth ulcerations
If any of these side effects get serious, or if you notice any side effects that are not listed here, please contact your doctor. Tradjenta may also cause abnormal blood test results. Your doctor will decide when to perform any blood tests and will interpret their results for you.
Talk to your health care provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. These are not all the possible negative effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.