Komboglyze is a very commonly prescribed medicine. As a combined type-2 diabetes treatment, it contains two active compounds – saxagliptin and better-known metformin. Komboglyze is available in the form of a tablet which is taken two times per day, usually with food for optimal efficiency. Both of the active ingredients work by helping the body to utilize available insulin more efficiently while also acting on other biochemical processes with the end result being the reduction of concentration of sugar in the blood.

A branded medicine developed and marketed by Bristol Myers Squibb pharmaceutical company (BMS for short), Komboglyze can be obtained in the UK only with a prescription issued by a certified medical professional. With just two tablets per day, this medicine will effectively get blood sugar levels under control, thus becoming a crucial part of diabetes management program for hundreds of people in the UK and worldwide.

What’s on this page?

Diabetes: An overview

Out of 3 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK alone, more than 90% are affected by type-2 diabetes. While these two conditions, namely, diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2 are closely related, there are some important differences that need to be noted. Most importantly, type-1 diabetes is often categorized as an autoimmune illness that results in permanent inability of pancreas to produce insulin. This condition is usually diagnosed early in life, during so-called formative period.

On the other hand, diabetes type-2 manifests much later in life, in a majority of cases after 40 years of age. And unlike type 1, this condition is closely linked to various external factors and unhealthy lifestyle choices. What’s more, people affected with diabetes type 2 will still be able to generate some amount of insulin, but not enough to meet the organism’s demands. As a result, the blood sugar levels will be steadily on the rise unless they are properly managed in some other way.

What are the symptoms of type-2 diabetes?

Symptoms of type-2 diabetes can significantly vary among those affected. However, those more common ones include dryness of the eyes and sight problems, general malaise and feelings of tiredness as well as an increased need to urinate. However, this condition is a progressive one, meaning it will get worse if it is not properly addressed.

If left untreated, diabetes will result in permanently heightened blood sugar levels which will, in turn, cause damage to the blood vessels, nerves and organs, leading to serious health issues and complications including kidney failure, heart disease and nerve damage.

As of now, a single and specific cause of type-2 diabetes has yet to be identified, but the medical experts seem to agree that poor lifestyle habits play a crucial role in the overall prevalence of diabetes type 2 in the contemporary society. Habits such as eating high amount of sugary foods, drinking sugar-saturated drinks, generally unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and smoking have all considered as risk factors. What’s more, age and weight can also contribute to the development of the condition.

But, on top of this, diabetes is also a condition that is in a majority of cases hereditary, meaning that genes play a prominent role in the onset of this condition (or its absence). In line with this, experts have deduced that certain groups of people, more specifically, those of south Asian, Chinese, African or Caribbean descent are at a higher risk of diabetes due to greater prevalence of diabetes-related genes in these areas of the world.

How is diabetes treated and managed?

Once diabetes is diagnosed in an individual, the doctor will try to devise a management plan. Its specifics will, naturally, depend on the progression of the condition by the time it has been diagnosed. In the early stages, a doctor might recommend trying the non-medicinal approach that is based on certain changes of lifestyle. More specifically, this will include:

  • Eating a healthier and more well-balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight (if needed)
  • Limiting alcohol consumption

However, if non-medicinal approach fails to achieve the desired results, then the doctor will recommend prescription medication which will bring the blood sugar levels under control.

How does Komboglyze help with diabetes?

Komboglyze is one such medicine. As a combination treatment, it contains not one, but two active ingredients which aim to achieve the same end goal, namely, controlling the blood sugar levels, but they do this in different ways. So, while metformin is classified as biguanide, saxagliptin is a DPP-4 inhibitor.

Once ingested, metformin will act in three different ways:

  • Reducing the amount of sugar produced by the liver
  • Increasing sugar consumption by muscle cells, facilitating extraction of glucose from the blood
  • Slowing down the uptake of sugars from food in the digestive tract

On the other hand, saxagliptin will act on certain enzymes within the body which are tasked with degrading incretin hormones. More specifically, it will stop them from breaking down incretin molecules, compounds which play a crucial role in stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin. As a result, the insulin production will be somewhat enhanced. At the same time, although secondarily, saxagliptin will also facilitate the activity of certain naturally synthesised compound that reduces the amount of sugar in the liver.

What are Komboglyze side effects?

Just like any other prescription medicine, Komboglyze too comes with an array of possible side effects. It is important to get familiar with them prior to commencing the treatment, as it will help you recognize the signs of unwanted symptoms and act accordingly. There are certain situations during Komboglyze treatment that might necessitate immediate medical attention. This can be the case if you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or hives. The other such situation is if you notice signs of lactic acidosis, including:

  • Feeling cold
  • General malaise
  • Stomach pain and discomfort
  • Muscle cramps
  • Rapid breathing
  • Inflamed pancreas
  • Unexplained weight loss

Other documented side effects that you should be aware of, but which might not be inherently dangerous include the following.

Frequency of occurrence

Side effects

Very common (1 in 10 users or more)

Diarrhoea, loss of appetite, feeling or being sick

Common (1 in 10 users or less)

Dizziness, metallic taste in the mouth, headache, muscle pain, indigestion

Uncommon (1 in 100 users)

Joint pain, impotence

Very rare (1 in 1000 users) 

Vitamin B12 deficiency, hepatitis, redness of the skin, itching

Is Komboglyze safe for me? Komboglyze contraindications

As is the case with all prescription medicines, Komboglyze too comes with certain risks and it will not be suitable for everyone. There are several reasons why the use of this diabetes medicine can be contraindicated and here we will discuss some of the most common scenarios, while also discussing some additional things you should have in mind to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Drug interactions

Komboglyze can interact with following drugs:

  • Cimetidine
  • Ketoconazole
  • Bronchodilators
  • Water tablets
  • Diltiazem
  • Rifampicin
  • Corticosteroids
  • Phenobarbital
  • Medications containing alcohol

Other health conditions as contraindications

Komboglyze can also be relatively dangerous when used by people who are affected (or have been affected) by any of the following medical conditions:

  • Diabetic coma
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Heart attack or heart failure
  • Serious cardiovascular condition
  • Alcoholism
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Pancreas illness

In addition to this, Komboglyze should not be used by women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding. Another precaution to keep in mind is that you should eliminate drinking if you are using this medicine since the combination of the two can significantly increase the risk of lactic acidosis.