By Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Trijardy XR in January 2020 for lowering blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. This new medication combines the effects of three antidiabetic drugs to simplify your treatment plan and help you achieve your target blood sugar level.
Trijardy XR is a combination antidiabetic medication. It contains the drugs empagliflozin, linagliptin, and metformin. Empagliflozin is the active ingredient in Jardiance, linagliptin is the active ingredient in Tradjenta, and metformin is the generic version of Glucophage.
Trijardy XR is used along with diet and exercise to control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes and to reduce these individuals’ risk of heart-related death. You should not use Trijardy XR if you have type 1 diabetes.
Trijardy XR helps to lower blood sugar by three mechanisms. The empagliflozin (Jardiance) component of Trijardy XR works by preventing your kidneys from absorbing sugar and allowing your body to excrete it in the urine. Linagliptin (Tradjenta) works by helping your pancreas produce more insulin and by signaling your liver to stop making sugar when there is too much in your blood. Metformin (Glucophage) works by reducing the amount of sugar that your liver produces and the amount of sugar that your intestines absorb. It also makes your body more sensitive to insulin.
Trijardy XR is usually taken once a day with a morning meal. Your doctor will determine your dose based on your blood sugar control and kidney function. Take this medication according to the prescription label. Swallow the tablets whole, and do not chew, crush, or cut them.
For some people, controlling their diabetes can be a challenge. Often, keeping your blood sugar at a target level requires a treatment plan that includes several medications. Combining three different medicines into one tablet reduces the number of pills that you take daily and makes it easier for you to remember to take your medication regularly at the right time.
Additionally, each component of Trijardy XR lowers your blood sugar by a different mechanism. The three drugs work together in various organs of your body to help you reach your target blood sugar level.
All medications have side effects, but not everyone experiences them the same way. Potential side effects of Trijardy XR include the following:
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Gastroenteritis (infection and inflammation of the stomach and intestines)
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Joint pain
The following side effects are less common but require immediate medical attention if they occur:
- Heart failure
- Sudden kidney failure
Trijardy XR can cause lactic acidosis, which is a critical condition when you have too much acid in your blood. Let your doctor know immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
- Unusual tiredness
- Breathing problems
If you have kidney or liver problems, talk to your healthcare provider before taking Trijardy XR.
If you are pregnant, you should talk with your obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) before taking any medication.
Trijardy XR is not recommended during pregnancy. Talk to your ob-gyn about safe alternatives if you have diabetes during your pregnancy.
The manufacturer does not recommend using Trijardy XR if you are breastfeeding due to the risk of kidney damage to the baby.
Keeping your diabetes under control often requires a treatment plan that includes several drugs. The cost of all your medications can quickly add up when you are paying for them every month. If your insurance plan does not cover your medications or the price is too high on insurance, you can use a free Rx savings card to get the lowest prescription price.
Prescription drug cards, or prescription savings cards, help you obtain the lowest prescription price for your medication. Sometimes, you may find that your insurance plan does not cover your medication or that the price with insurance is higher than the cost with a prescription savings card. Using prescription savings cards may save you up to 80% or more off the retail price. Be sure to compare prescription prices before filling your prescription. You can use the ScriptSave® WellRx discount card for the best discount at a pharmacy near you.
Rosanna Sutherby is a freelance medical writer who has been a practicing pharmacist in her community for close to 20 years. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She utilizes her clinical training in the pharmacy, where she helps patients manage disease states such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and many others. Dr. Sutherby reviews and recommends drug regimens based on patients’ concurrent conditions and potential drug interactions.