Diabetes Medicine Combinations

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Many people with diabetes are on more than one medicine to control glucose levels, and pharmaceutical companies make combination pills—that is, a pill containing two different diabetes medicines. Since many insurance companies make their customers pay a part of the cost of each prescription (a copayment), the combination pill has the benefit of eliminating one of the copayments. However, the disadvantage of these combinations is that you lose some of the flexibility of adjusting the individual doses of the medicines.

Also, if you need to discontinue one of the two medications, you may have to go back to the doctor and get a prescription for the single medicine that you are continuing. The combination pill usually has a different name, and often patients (and physicians) forget that the pill contains two different medicines. If you are prescribed a combination pill, make sure that you are not taking both a combination pill and one of the components of the combination pill as a separate pill. Table 6-8 is a summary of the different diabetes combination medicines that are currently available, with generic and brand names.

Table 6-8

Combination Drugs Currently Available for Type 2 Diabetes

Brand Name

Drug Combination


Rosiglitazone with metformin


Rosiglitazone with glimepiride

Actoplus Met

Pioglitazone with metformin


Pioglitazone with glimepiride


Glyburide with metformin


Glipizide with metformin


Sitagliptin with metformin

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