Linagliptin is used in people with type 2 diabetes. This is intended for use with a proper diet and exercise program and possibly with other medications to control high blood sugar. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent blindness, kidney damage, loss of limbs and nerve problems. Proper control of diabetes may also decrease your risk of stroke or heart attack. Linagliptin is a diabetes drug that works by increasing levels of natural substances called incretins. Incretins help to control blood sugar by increasing insulin release. They also decrease the amount of sugar your liver makes.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition. That it affects the way your body metabolizes sugar. Glucose or sugar is an important source of fuel for your body. With this condition, your body either resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels. There’s no cure for type 2 diabetes mellitus but losing weight, eating well, and exercising can help manage the disease. If diet and exercise are not enough to manage your blood sugar well, you may also need diabetes medications or insulin therapy. Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes mellitus may include:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Unintended weight loss
- Increased hunger
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections
- Slow-healing sores
- Areas of darkened skin usually in the armpits and neck
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. Exactly why this happens is unknown, although genetics and environmental factors seem to be contributing factors.
How does the medicine work?
Linagliptin is a type of medicine called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor. This works by increasing the amount of two incretin hormones found in the body called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP). These hormones are usually produced naturally by the body in response to food intake. Their function is to help control blood sugar levels. GLP-1 and GIP have two main actions that help to control blood sugar.
Firstly, they stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin in response to increasing levels of glucose in the blood. Insulin is the main hormone responsible for controlling sugar levels in the blood. It causes cells in the body to remove sugar from the blood. GLP-1 also reduces the production of glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that normally increases glucose production by the liver. GLP-1 and GIP are usually broken down by an enzyme in the body called dipeptidyl peptidase-4.
Linagliptin binds to this enzyme and prevents it from breaking down the GLP-1 and GIP. This increases the levels of these hormones in the body and so increases their effect on controlling blood sugar.
How to use the medication?
The prescribed dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. You must take this medication exactly as it is given by your doctor. You should not take less or more often than the prescription. Your doctor may direct you to start at a lower dose and eventually increase it. Let your doctor know if your condition worsens or does not improve. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this treatment. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects.
Linagliptin is to be taken by mouth usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. This medication is may be taken with or without a meal. Follow carefully the meal plan, medication treatment plan, and exercise program your doctor has recommended. Do not suddenly stop taking Linagliptin without the consent of your doctor. It is important to continue taking this even if you feel well. To help you remember, take it at the same time and in the same way each day. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.
Common and Serious Side Effects
- Low blood sugar
- Back pain
- Muscle or joint pain
- Weight gain
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
Let your doctor know if you the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Fever and headache with severe blistering, red skin rash, or peeling
- Fast heart rate
- Inflammation of the pancreas (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, vomiting, and nausea)
- Your ability to concentrate or react may be reduced if you have low blood sugar. This can cause problems with operating machinery or driving. You should take precautions to avoid low blood sugar when driving and discuss this with your doctor. This medicine may also cause dizziness or fatigue. If affected you should take care of operating machinery or driving.
- Limit alcohol while having this treatment. It may increase your risk of developing low blood sugar.
- While you are taking this drug, your doctor may want to check your blood sugar level from time to time.
- This medicine does not cause low blood sugar. However, if it is added to treatment with other antidiabetic medicines there is more chance of your blood sugar falling too low. If you experience hypoglycemia while having this medication, it should be treated with glucose, not sucrose.
- Do not share this with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
- This is not recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you are planning to become pregnant, consult your doctor first before taking Linagliptin.
- You must continue to follow the diet and exercise advice given to you by your doctor while you are taking Linagliptin. This medicine only helps to control your blood sugar levels and should not be used as a substitute for eating healthily and taking regular exercise.
- You should not take this if you ever had an allergic reaction to this drug. Tell your doctor if you have any allergies. This drug may have an ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.