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New Drugs For Type 2 Diabetes

Mr. Iyengar has had diabetes since he was 55 and is now 78. He has been on medication for the last 23 years and during this time, he has not really changed the drugs that he has used. Recently, after having been vaccinated, Mr. Iyengar attends a family function and meets his son-in-law from Mumbai – 45-year-old Vivek who also has type 2 diabetes. Vivek tells him about some new drugs for type 2 diabetes that have been introduced over the last decade, some as recently as last year. Vivek says that he is very satisfied with how the new drugs manage diabetes. 

Mr. Iyengar has been a revenue manager for a prominent hotel chain before he retired. He is the last person to subscribe to notions like “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Mr. Iyengar always looks for better prospects or improved options. As a result, he wants to know more about the new drugs for type 2 diabetes that has been prescribed by Vivek’s doctor. 

If like Mr. Iyengar, you have had diabetes for a long time, it is possible that there are new drugs for type 2 diabetes in the market that you have not had the opportunity to hear about. In this post, we are going to talk about 3 such new drugs for type 2 diabetes that have been introduced over the last decade. Diabetics can consider talking to their doctors about switching over to these new drugs. 

Launched in 2020 – Qtern 

This new drug for type 2 diabetes was launched by Pharma company AstraZeneca, which became famous in recent months because of its involvement in vaccine development. Qtern is a combination of Dapagliflozin 10mg and Saxagliptin 5mg. The drug is presented in the form of film-coated ingestible tablets. 

The two ingredients have demonstrated proven results in reducing Hyperglycemia or high levels of blood sugar. The former is known as an SGLT-2 inhibitor and the latter is known as a DPP-4 inhibitor. What do they inhibit? 

Well Dapagliflozin, the SGLT-2 inhibitor reduces the harmful process of reabsorption of glucose by the renal tubules in kidneys and instead redirects this glucose to be removed from the body by urine. It also showed other benefits such as weight loss and lower blood pressure in clinical trials over about five years. 

Meanwhile, the other ingredient, Saxagliptin – the DPP-4 inhibitor – reduces blood glucose levels and has shown good results with regards to keeping heart disease at bay on a sample size of 16000 diabetics. 

The two ingredients were found to have great effects that also complemented one another. 

People are excited about the drug because of the flexibility it offers. It can be taken or administered to a patient on an empty stomach or after eating, whatever is more convenient. It can also be taken at any time of the day. 

Like most diabetic medicines, this drug too is recommended not as a replacement but as an accompaniment, to proper diet and regular exercise. 

Launched in 2016 – Trulicity 

An injectable new drug for diabetes was launched by a pharma company called Eli Lilly and Company (India) private limited. The main ingredient in this injectable medication is dulaglutide. 

Trulicity comes from a family of drugs known as glucagon mimicking peptide receptor agonists, which in layman’s words means that they mimic the behavior of insulin or push the body to release sufficient insulin. Insulin – as most diabetics already know – is responsible for promoting proper absorption of blood glucose by muscles and the liver and so on. With low insulin or its poor use, a higher than ideal amount of glucose remains in the bloodstream, and depending on the level of blood sugar, one might be prediabetic or type 2 diabetic or type 1 diabetic. 

The main problem with type 2 diabetes is insufficient production of insulin or poor use of insulin. As such, the new drug could be very useful for those with type 2 diabetes who need to inject insulin.  

Convenience is the calling card of this new drug. It is presented as a “pen” that can be injected at any time and anywhere without needing to measure a solution or assemble a syringe. Its administration is not linked to food consumption and hygiene and safety is maintained by the fact that it is single-use

Launched in 2012 – Trajenta

Although this cannot exactly be called a “new” drug for type 2 diabetes, if you have been on medication for over a decade, there is a good chance that you have missed it and it is therefore new to you. 

This drug is also part of the Eli Lilly and Company portfolio (the same company that also developed Trulicity in 2016) and was developed by the pharmaceutical company in conjunction with another pharmaceutical company called Boehringer Ingelheim India (BI). 

The main ingredient in this drug for type 2 diabetes is Linagliptin.  It comes from a family of drugs known as gliptins or DPP-4 inhibitors. Gliptins help with lowering blood sugar levels and safeguarding cardiovascular health in people with type 2 diabetes. 

The drug is presented as a film-coated tablet and the ingredient Linaglitin was found by some medical practitioners to be the best in its class of drugs because of single dose a day efficiency. In testing, the drug was found to buffer the performance of the pancreatic beta cells that are responsible for insulin production. 

This tablet is being appreciated for the fact that it can be used even in diabetic cases where there is liver failure complicating things. 


If you have not yet tried any of these new drugs for managing your type 2 diabetes, you should definitely consult your doctor on whether they could work for you. 

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