New Medication Combination Approved for Diabetes

Diabetes medication manufacturer AstraZeneca announced that a combination formula that is designed to be extended-release and taken only once per day has been approved. This formula is a combination of dapagliflozin and metformin (Xigduo XR) and is approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes for adults. These two medications function in a complementary way which is why they were recommended to be released by the company as a combination drug.


The medication dapagliflozin is commercially known as Farxiga and it is an SGLT2 inhibitor that eliminates glucose by using the kidneys for excretion. Metformin acts as a biguanide. The kidneys are especially important to helping to maintain normal glucose levels thanks to the filtering process and the reabsorption of glucose. The SGLT2 is a sodium glucose co-transporter which is mainly located in the kidneys and controls the majority of the reabsorption of glucose. The new formula will be used in addition to diet and exercise for patients that are considered to be the ideal candidates for receiving treatment by using both of the medications.


The combination formula is set to be released in several dosages of metformin and dapagliflozin. The dosages will range from 5 mg/1,000 mg, 10 mg/500 mg, to 10 mg/1,000 mg. The manufacturers recommend that the correct dosage be determined by the doctor according to the the regimen that the patient is currently following. In addition, doctors should begin by administering the lowest dosage in order to prevent adverse effects from the use of the drug.


The combination formula was approved for use because of the the bioequivalence demonstrated when these two medications were given to patients separately. The combination formula was then looked at by evaluating patients that had trouble controlling their blood glucose levels with metformin only.


Previously this formula had been approved for use in Australia. In the European Union, dapagliflozin and immediate-release metformin is already being used. Xigduo XR is contraindicated for patients that have renal impairment that is moderate or severe. Patients that have issues with chronic or acute metabolic acidosis or hypersensitivity that is severe should also not use this medication.


Patients that are interested in seeing if they are eligible to receive the combination treatment have been encouraged to discuss the matter with their doctors. In addition, the medication can cause lactic acidosis, which can be caused by a build-up of metformin. This situation has been recording in every 0.03 cases per 1,000 patient-years and has resulted in fatalities in half of these cases. The risk of lactic acidosis can be heightened by the presence of other problems. Some of the problems include conditions like renal impairment, hepatic impairment, dehydration and congestive heart failure. The medication has side effects that include an increased risk of urinary tract infections.

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