Synjardy: Newly Approved for Type 2 Diabetes

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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According to the 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the CDC, 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the United States population has either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. That means that almost 1 in 11 Americans have diabetes!

With so many people affected, new medications are constantly being developed—especially to help treat type 2 diabetes, the most common form.

Synjardy (empagliflozin/metformin) is the newest of these drugs to receive FDA approval for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, on August 27, 2015.

What type of medication is Synjardy?
Synjardy is a combination drug, containing the same active ingredients as both Jardiance (empagliflozin) and Glucophage (metformin).

Jardiance (empagliflozin) belongs to a newer class of medications known as sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors.

Glucophage (metformin) has been around for a very long time and belongs to a class of medications known as biguanides. Metformin is considered a first-line treatment for diabetes.

How does Synjardy work?

The two active ingredients in Synjardy work together to lower blood sugar. Empagliflozin helps remove excess sugar from the body through urination rather than letting it be reabsorbed by your kidneys. Metformin decreases glucose production in the liver and glucose absorption in the intestine, and helps your body use insulin more efficiently.

How will Synjardy be taken?

The initial and maintenance doses of Synjardy will be individual to you. However, the maximum recommended dose is 12.5 mg/1000 mg twice daily with meals.

See the package insert on the official website here for more information.

What dosages will Synjardy be available in?
Synjardy will be available as a tablet in the following strengths: 5 mg/500 mg, 5 mg/1000 mg, 12.5 mg/500 mg, and 12.5 mg/1000 mg.

What are the side effects?

The most common side effects of Synjardy include female genital infections, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, gas, stomach discomfort, indigestion, headache, and fatigue.

What are the benefits of Synjardy?

Not only has Synjardy been shown to lower blood glucose levels, but it can also help with weight loss, a reduction of A1C levels (used to measure blood sugar over time), and can help to lower blood pressure—all of which can be concerns for diabetics.

Who should not take this medication?
Synjardy is not for type 1 diabetics or people with diabetic ketoacidosis.

What else do I need to know?
Synjardy contains a boxed warning due to its risk of lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a rare but serious complication that requires immediate attention.

Metformin (one of the active ingredients) can cause an increased the risk of accumulating lactic acid in the blood.

It can be hard to tell if you are experiencing the start of lactic acidosis, especially since the symptoms are very non-specific, including:

Please talk to your doctor right away if you think you may be affected.

 

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