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Generic Name:

linagliptin, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Tradjenta
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for linagliptin

Oral tablet
1

Linagliptin is used with diet and exercise to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. This drug shouldn’t be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.

2

Linagliptin is available as a brand-name drug called Tradjenta. It’s not available in its generic form.

3

The usual dose for adults aged 18 years and older is one 5-mg tablet, once daily.

4

Using this drug can cause serious side effects. These include inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). Symptoms of pancreatitis include severe pain that doesn’t go away and can be felt from your stomach area to your back.

5

If you have a history of pancreatitis, taking linagliptin may increase your risk of having it again.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Inflammation of the pancreas

While taking this drug, you may develop inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis). This condition can be severe and even lead to death. Several factors may make you more likely to develop pancreatitis. They may also worsen pancreatitis if you already have it. These factors include having stones in your gallbladder (gallstones), a history of alcoholism, or high blood triglycerides. Tell your doctor if you’ve had these conditions. Symptoms of pancreatitis include a pain that can be felt from your abdomen to your back. Vomiting may occur along with this pain.

Use with other diabetes drugs

Using linagliptin with other diabetes drugs may cause your blood sugar level to drop too low (hypoglycemia). Other diabetes drugs that can cause this include insulin or insulin secretagogues (such as sulfonylurea). If you use linagliptin with these drugs, you may be at risk for hypoglycemia. Your dosage of these drugs may need to be changed while you’re taking linagliptin. Be sure to tell your doctor if you’re taking these medications.

Allergic reactions

Some people taking linagliptin have serious allergic reactions. Most allergies to this drug develop within the first 3 months of use. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling of the lips, throat, and face, and trouble breathing or swallowing. If you think you are having a serious allergic reaction to linagliptin, stop taking it right away and call your doctor.

What is Linagliptin?

Linagliptin is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs.

Why it's used

Linagliptin is used along with diet and exercise to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. It works to lower your blood sugar level.

How it works

Linagliptin belongs to a class of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Linagliptin belongs to a class of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Linagliptin increases the amount of insulin your body makes. (Insulin is a substance that helps move sugar from the bloodstream into the body’s cells.) Linagliptin also lowers the amount of sugar your body makes. These steps lower your blood sugar level.

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SECTION 2 of 4

linagliptin Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

These are some of the more common side effects people have when taking linagliptin:

  • Stuffy or runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

  • Diarrhea

These side effects may be mild and go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Pancreatitis. Symptoms may include:

  • a severe pain in your stomach that doesn’t go away
  • stomach pain that travels to your back
  • vomiting
  • Severe joint pain

  • Bullous pemphigoid. Symptoms may include:

    • large, fluid-filled blisters
    • itchy skin
  • Allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

    • swelling of your lips, throat, or face
    • trouble breathing or swallowing
    • raised, red areas on your skin (hives)
    • skin problems (including itching, flaking, or peeling)
  • Blood sugar level that is too low (hypoglycemia). Symptoms may include:

    • shaking or feeling jittery
    • sweating
    • fast heartbeat
    • change in vision
    • dizziness
    • headache

If you don’t treat low blood sugar, you can have a seizure, pass out, and possibly develop brain damage. Low blood sugar can even be fatal. If you pass out because of a low sugar reaction or cannot swallow, someone will have to give an injection of glucagon to treat the low sugar reaction. You may need to go to the emergency room.

Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug will decrease your blood sugar levels. Linagliptin can cause your blood sugar level to drop too low (hypoglycemia). If you have a low blood sugar reaction, you need to treat it.

  • For mild hypoglycemia (55–70 mg/dL), treatment is 15–20 grams of glucose (a type of sugar). You need to eat or drink one of the following:
    • 3–4 glucose tablets
    • a tube of glucose gel
    • ½ cup of juice or regular, non-diet soda
    • 1 cup of nonfat or 1% cow’s milk
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup
    • 8–10 pieces of hard candy, such as lifesavers
  • Test your blood sugar 15 minutes after you treat the low sugar reaction. If your blood sugar is still low, then repeat the above treatment.

Once your blood sugar level is back in the normal range, eat a small snack if your next planned meal or snack is more than 1 hour later.

Linagliptin doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

linagliptin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Linagliptin can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Tuberculosis drugs

Taking certain tuberculosis drugs with linagliptin can lower the amount of linagliptin in your body. This can prevent linagliptin from working well. If you take these drugs, your doctor may have you use another drug instead of linagliptin. These drugs include:

  • rifampin
  • rifabutin

Insulin

If you have severe kidney problems, using linagliptin with insulin can increase your risk of low blood pressure. Your insulin dosage may need to be changed while you’re taking linagliptin.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Linagliptin warnings
People with a history of pancreatitis
People with a history of pancreatitis

If you have a history of inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis), taking linagliptin may increase your risk of having it again.

 People with a history of gallstones
People with a history of gallstones

If you have a history of gallstones, taking linagliptin may increase your risk of pancreatitis. This is an inflammation of the pancreas. This condition can range from mild to life threatening.

People with a history of alcohol misuse
People with a history of alcohol misuse

If you have a history of alcohol misuse, taking linagliptin may increase your risk of pancreatitis. This is an inflammation of the pancreas. This condition can range from mild to life threatening.

People with high cholesterol
People with high cholesterol

If you have high levels of triglycerides in your blood, taking linagliptin may increase your risk of pancreatitis. This is an inflammation of the pancreas. This condition can range from mild to life threatening.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show if linagliptin poses risk to a fetus when a woman takes it. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown risk to a fetus, however.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

Women who are breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known whether linagliptin passes through breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you’re breastfeeding. You’ll need to decide together if you should stop taking this drug or stop breastfeeding.

For children
For children

It isn’t known whether linagliptin is safe and effective to use in children younger than 18 years.

When to call the doctor
When to call the doctor

When your body is under stress, the amount of diabetes medication that you need may change. Types of stress can include fever, trauma (such as a car accident), infection, or surgery. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these problems.

Allergies
Allergies

Linagliptin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • swelling of your lips, throat, or face
  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • raised, red areas on your skin (hives)
  • skin problems (including itching, flaking, or peeling)

Don’t take this drug if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take linagliptin (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Type 2 diabetes

Brand: Tradjenta

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 5 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years)

Take one 5-mg tablet, once daily.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body may process this medication more slowly. Your doctor may monitor you closely to see whether you need a lowered dose because a regular adult dose may lower your blood sugar too much.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Linagliptin comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

Your blood sugar level may rise. If your blood sugar level is high and not controlled for a long time, you can have serious complications. These include a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. This can be fatal.

You will also be at higher risk for long-term complications from diabetes. These can be disabling or life threatening. They include problems with your nerves, eyes, kidneys, feet, and skin. They also include heart and blood vessel disease.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. In order for this drug to work, a certain level of it needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

If you think that you’ve taken too much of this medication or have symptoms of low blood sugar, treat your low blood sugar

If your symptoms continue to worsen, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take it as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before the time for your next dose, then only take one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two tablets at once. This could cause dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your doctor may have you check your blood sugar each day using a blood glucose monitor. Your doctor will tell you where to get this device and how to use it. Also, about four times each year, your doctor will do a blood test. This is called an A1C test (HgbA1C).

If linagliptin is working, these tests will show that your blood sugar level has lowered to a number within a certain range. Your doctor will tell you what range is best for you.

Linagliptin is a long-term drug treatment.

Important considerations for taking linagliptin
You can take linagliptin with or without food
You can take linagliptin with or without food
Don’t crush, cut, or chew your linagliptin tablet. It should be swallowed whole
Don’t crush, cut, or chew your linagliptin tablet. It should be swallowed whole.
Store linagliptin at room temperature
Store linagliptin at room temperature
See Details
Prescription is refillable
Prescription is refillable
Travel
Travel
See Details
Self-management
Self-management
See Details
Clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
Your diet
Your diet
See Details
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.
Hidden costs
Hidden costs
See Details
Insurance
Insurance
See Details

Store linagliptin at room temperature

  • Keep it from 59–86°F (15–30°C).
  • Keep it away from light and high temperatures.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Self-management

You’ll likely need to learn how to use a blood glucose monitor to check your blood sugar level regularly. You’ll also need to learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of high blood sugar and low blood sugar, and be able to manage this when needed. Your doctor can tell you more.

While taking linagliptin, you may need to buy the following items. They’ll help you monitor your blood sugar level.

  • sterile alcohol wipes
  • lancing device and lancets (pricking needles used to draw a drop of blood for testing)
  • blood glucose test strips
  • a blood glucose monitor
  • control solution
  • a sharps container (a bin for safe disposal of used lancets)

Clinical monitoring

You’ll need to have your blood sugar level monitored while you take linagliptin. This will help make sure your level is within the range your doctor feels is best for you. It will also tell if your medication is working.

This monitoring may be done using two tests:

  • blood sugar level. Your doctor may tell you to check your blood sugar level each day using a blood glucose monitor. Your doctor will tell you where to get this device and how to use it.
  • A1C test (HgbA1C). Your doctor will do this blood test about four times each year.

Your diet

You’ll need to stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program while taking linagliptin.

Hidden costs

If your doctor tells you to monitor your blood sugar level at home, you’ll need to purchase:

  • sterile alcohol wipes
  • lancing device and lancets (pricking needles used to draw a drop of blood for testing)
  • a blood glucose monitor
  • blood glucose test strips
  • control solution
  • a sharps container (a bin for safe disposal of used lancets)

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other options that may work for you.


Show Sources

  • Tradjenta (linagliptin) tablets, for oral use. (2017). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/201280s014lbl.pdf

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group on June 5, 2017

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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