Lowers blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Works in part by increasing the insulin produced by the body. Taken once daily.

Linagliptin Overview

Reviewed: August 20, 2012

Linagliptin is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. Linagliptin belongs to a group of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, which help lower blood sugar levels by regulating the amount of insulin released.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day, with or without food.

Common side effects include stuffy nose, sore throat, and low blood sugar levels.

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  • A year or so
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Linagliptin Cautionary Labels


Uses of Linagliptin

Linagliptin is a prescription medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. Linagliptin helps to lower blood sugar along with diet and exercise.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Linagliptin Brand Names

Linagliptin may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Linagliptin Drug Class

Linagliptin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Linagliptin

Serious side effects have been reported with linagliptin. See the “Linagliptin Precautions” section.

The most common side effects of linagliptin include stuffy or runny nose and sore throat.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of linagliptin. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Linagliptin Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take

  • other medicines that can lower your blood sugar
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater, Rifamate), an antibiotic that is used to treat tuberculosis 

This is not a complete list of linagliptin drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Linagliptin Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with linagliptin including the following:

  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If you take linagliptin with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea, your risk of getting low blood sugar is higher. The dose of your sulfonylurea medicine may need to be lowered while you take linagliptin. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
    • headache
    • drowsiness
    • weakness
    • dizziness
    • confusion
    • irritability
    • hunger
    • fast heart beat
    • sweating
    • feeling jittery
  • severe and persistent joint pain. If you experience severe and persistent joint pain, contact your doctor right away. Do not stop taking your medication. Your doctor will decide if your medication is the possible cause of severe  joint pain and will discontinue the drug if appropriate.

Do not take linagliptin if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction to linagliptin are:

  • rash
  • raised red patches on your skin (hives)
  • swelling of your face, lips, and throat that may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing

Linagliptin Food Interactions

Follow dietary (food) recommendations made by your doctor and dietitian which should include a healthy diet. Skipping meals should be avoided as this can cause problems maintaining blood sugar control. There are no specific foods to avoid while using linagliptin.

Inform MD

Before you take linagliptin, tell your doctor if you:

  • have any other medical conditions
  • have or have had inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if linagliptin will harm your unborn baby. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about the best way to control your blood sugar while you are pregnant.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if linagliptin passes into your breast milk. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take linagliptin. 

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. 

Linagliptin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Linagliptin falls into category B. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given linagliptin, and some babies had problems. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with linagliptin.

Linagliptin and Lactation

It is not known if linagliptin crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using linagliptin.


Linagliptin Usage

  • Take linagliptin 1 time each day exactly as your doctor tells you to take it.
  • Talk with your doctor if you do not understand how to take linagliptin.
  • Your doctor will tell you when to take linagliptin.
  • Take linagliptin with or without food.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses of linagliptin at the same time.
  • Your doctor may tell you to take linagliptin along with other diabetes medicines. Low blood sugar can happen more often when linagliptin is taken with certain other diabetes medicines. 
  • When your body is under some types of stress, such as fever, trauma (such as a car accident), infection, or surgery, the amount of diabetes medicine that you need may change. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these conditions and follow your doctor's instructions.
  • Check your blood sugar as your doctor tells you to.
  • Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program while taking linagliptin.
  • Talk to your doctor about how to prevent, recognize and manage low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), and complications of diabetes.
  • Your doctor will check your diabetes with regular blood tests, including your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C.

Linagliptin Dosage

Take linagliptin exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The recommended dose of linagliptin is 5 mg once daily.

Linagliptin Overdose

If you take too much linagliptin, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

Store linagliptin at 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).

Keep linagliptin and all medicines out of the reach of children.