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Type 2 diabetes: What advantages or disadvantages does saxagliptin/metformin (Komboglyze) have?

Last Update: October 2, 2013.

photo of an older couple talking with their doctor
The fixed combination of the drugs saxagliptin and metformin (trade name Komboglyze) was approved in Germany in November 2011 for adults with type 2 diabetes who cannot lower their elevated blood sugar levels enough by making changes to their diet or doing exercise. The combination is an option for people who have not benefited enough from the conventional drug metformin on its own or who have already been taking saxagliptin and metformin as separate tablets. It can also be used together with insulin if insulin and metformin are not sufficient on their own.

How is saxagliptin/metformin used?

Saxagliptin/metformin is taken twice a day in tablet form at mealtimes. One tablet contains 2.5 mg of saxagliptin and either 850 mg or 1000 mg of metformin. The choice of tablet will be based on the previously used metformin dose.

What was saxagliptin/metformin compared with?

In early 2013, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) assessed a fixed combination of saxagliptin/metformin for two areas of use:

  • if taking metformin on its own had not regulated blood sugar levels enough or if metformin and saxagliptin had been taken as separate tablets – as opposed to metformin and a sulfonylurea (glibenclamide or glimepiride);
  • together with insulin (in “triple combination”), if insulin and metformin had not sufficiently regulated blood sugar levels – as opposed to a combination of human insulin and metformin.

What advantages or disadvantages does saxagliptin/metformin have?

The manufacturer did not provide any data suitable for finding out what advantages and disadvantages saxagliptin/metformin has compared with the current standard therapy for either of these uses. General information about possible side effects can be found in the package insert.

Where can I get more information?

This text summarizes the most important results of a review by IQWiG published in February 2013. You can read the entire review (in German) here, and an extract of the dossier assessment (in English) here, on the IQWiG website.

The IQWiG review was commissioned by the German Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) as part of the “benefit assessment of pharmaceuticals pursuant to § 35a Social Code Book V”. In early May 2013, G-BA passed a resolution on the added benefit of the fixed-dose combination of saxagliptin/metformin (Komboglyze) on the basis of this review and the hearings received. You can find out more about the background of the benefit assessment and the G-BA resolution here: www.g-ba.de (in German).

Here you will find an assessment of the drug linagliptin, which is also a treatment option for people with type 2 diabetes who cannot regulate their blood sugar levels enough by making changes to their diet or doing exercise.

You can find more information about type 2 diabetes in our in-depth feature.

© IQWiG (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care)