Combination Drug Therapy for Diabetes
What do a Swiss Army knife, Pantene Pro-V Full & Thick 2-in-1 Hair shampoo+ Conditioner, and Glucovance have in common?
They’re all mix products, designed to save you time, loan, or both. Drug companies are presenting more combo medications — two drugs in one tablet — to make the most of patent expirations and competition from generics. Glucovance is a combination of glyburide and metformin, two medications that help individuals with type 2 control blood sugar.
Many mix pills deliver simply two different types of medicine. Typically the two medications collaborate to treat one disease in various methods. Some pills contain two drugs to treat conditions that commonly take place together, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Diabetes Combo Pills
- Actoplus Met: Combines Actos and metformin
- Avandamet: Combines Avandia and metformin
- Avandaryl: Combines Avandia and glimepiride
- Duetact: Combines Actos and glimepiride
- Glucovance: Combines glyburide and metformin
- Janumet: Combines Januvia and metformin
- Metaglip: Combines glipizide and metformin
- PrandiMet: Combines Prandin and metformin
The Upside of Combo Pills
Combination diabetes drugs can motivate individuals to take medications as prescribed — and can conserve them money, says Shannon Miller, a teacher of pharmacy practice at Albany College of Pharmacy in New York. Generally, insurer charge a copay for each prescription received. Mix tablets need simply one copay, although you’re getting two medications, she states.
For Jack (last name withheld to protect personal privacy), who has type 2 diabetes, changing to combination drugs to manage blood sugar, hypertension, and high cholesterol cut his variety of day-to-day tablets from 11 to seven. He saves $40 a month on copays, for a yearly savings of $480.
Also read: A Complete List of Common Diabetes Medications
Although costs differ based on specific medications and health-plan coverage, the savings can be considerable. A 2003 post in the journal Clinical Diabetes compared expenses for 30 dosages of five mix diabetes medications at four pharmacies in Columbus, Georgia, and two online drug stores. A lot of combinations cost the exact same or less than the list price of the drugs when sold individually (brand name or generic), the report states.
“The use of the two mix pills metformin/glyburide and metformin/rosiglitazone would conserve more than $50 monthly compared with taking the very same doses of medications bought separately,” the post states. Some diabetes combination medications are readily available in generic forms, however there is little cost distinction in between the combination generics and the two medications as individual generics.
The Downside of Combo Pills
Convenience and cost are fantastic needs to switch to a combination pill, but there might be some downsides. Many mix pills have only a few alternatives for doses, which can make it hard for your physician to change your dosages.
Robert Busch, M.D., an endocrinologist in Albany, New York, states most combination drugs are OK, but he hardly ever recommends the ones that include sulfonylureas. “You can’t taper one [medication] without the other,” he says. If your doctor changes the dosage of among the drugs, you may have to change back to two tablets if the new dosage mix is not available as a single tablet.
Only you and your doctor can choose if a mix pill is right for you. First ask your pharmacist if there is a tablet that integrates your current drugs and dosages and to see if it’s on your insurance coverage formulary. If one is readily available, ask your doctor about it. To switch to a combination pill, you will require a brand-new prescription. Mix pills are not for everybody. But if they’re a choice for you, it can indicate easier prescription management.