Linagliptin will help to reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It is often taken alongside other antidiabetic medicines.

Remember to follow any advice you have been given about your diet and taking exercise.

Side-effects are uncommon but may include cough and cold-like symptoms. A rare side-effect is persistent or severe abdominal pain - you should let your doctor know about this if it happens to you.

About linagliptin

Type of medicine An antidiabetic medicine
Used for Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Also called Trajenta®
Jentadueto® (a combination tablet of linagliptin with metformin)
Available as Tablets

Insulin is a hormone which is made naturally in your body, in the pancreas. It helps to control the levels of sugar in your blood. If your body does not make enough insulin to meet its needs, or if it does not use the insulin it makes effectively, this results in the condition called diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes).

People with diabetes need treatment to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in their blood. This is because good control of blood sugar levels reduces the risk of complications later on. Some people can control the sugar in their blood by making changes to the food they eat but, for other people, medicines like linagliptin are given alongside changes in diet.

Linagliptin works in part by increasing the amount of insulin produced by your body, which then controls the level of sugar in your blood. It also reduces the amount of a substance called glucagon being produced by your pancreas. Glucagon causes your liver to produce more sugar; so, by reducing the amount of glucagon in your body, this also helps to reduce the levels of sugar in your blood.

Linagliptin is given alone or alongside other antidiabetic medicines.

Before taking linagliptin tablets

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking linagliptin it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are under 18 years of age.
  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

How to take linagliptin tablets

  • Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the specific brand of tablets you have been given, and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking them.
  • Take linagliptin tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. Your dose will be on the label of the pack to remind you.
  • If you are taking a brand of linagliptin tablets called Trajenta®, the usual dose is one tablet daily. You may take it at whatever time of day you find easiest to remember, but try to take your doses at the same time of day each day. This will help you to avoid missing any doses. You can take the tablets before or after your meals.
  • If you have been prescribed Jentadueto® tablets (these contain linagliptin and metformin), the usual dose is one tablet twice daily. You should take these tablets with a snack or just after eating a meal, as this will help reduce the risk of stomach upset.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • It is important that you keep your regular doctor's and clinic appointments. This is so your progress can be monitored. You are likely to need regular check-ups with an eye clinic and a foot clinic as well as with your doctor and diabetes clinic.
  • If you have been given advice by your doctor about changes to your diet, stopping smoking or taking regular exercise, it is important for you to follow the advice you have been given.
  • Check with your doctor before taking up any new physical exercise, as this will have an effect on your blood sugar levels and you may need to check your blood or urine levels more regularly.
  • If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice. Your doctor may recommend you do not drink alcohol while you are on linagliptin because it may affect the control of your blood sugar.
  • If you are due to have an operation or dental treatment, you should tell the person carrying out the treatment that you have diabetes and are taking linagliptin.
  • If you get unusually thirsty, pass urine more frequently, and feel very tired then let your doctor know. These are signs that the doses of your antidiabetic medicines may need adjusting.
  • If you are a driver you should take special care, as your ability to concentrate may be affected if your diabetes is not well controlled. It is advisable to check your blood or urine glucose levels before you travel on long journeys.
  • Antidiabetic medicines can sometimes cause your blood sugar levels to drop too far, although this is unlikely to happen with linagliptin. Even so, make sure you know the signs of low blood sugar (this is also known as hypoglycaemia, or a 'hypo'). The first signs are: feeling shaky or anxious, sweating, looking pale, feeling hungry, having palpitations (a feeling that your heart is pounding), and feeling dizzy.
  • Treatment with linagliptin is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Continue to take the tablets unless you are advised otherwise.

Can linagliptin cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Possible linagliptin side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 100 people who take this medicine
What can I do if I experience this?
Cough, nose and throat symptoms If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor

A few people taking linagliptin have developed persistent, severe abdominal pain. If this happens to you, let your doctor know about it straightaway, as it may be sign of a problem developing in your pancreas.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store linagliptin tablets

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.