New Treatment Options for Diabetes

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Thanks to research and advances in technology, there are now a variety of medications for the treatment and management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. These medications include insulins, oral medicine, and injectables. Many of these are used in conjunction with diet and exercise for glycemic control.

Woman checks blood sugar levels

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New Oral Medicines

Steglatro (Ertugliflozin)

Steglatro (ertugliflozin) was approved in 2017. This drug is prescribed—in addition to diet and exercise—to improve the glycemic control of adults living with type 2 diabetes.

Steglatro is not recommended for patients with type 1 diabetes.

Highlights of this medicine include:

  • The recommended dose initially is 5 mg once every day, to be taken in the morning with or without food.
  • For those who tolerate a 5 mg dosage and need additional glycemic control, dosage may be increased to 15 mg once daily.

Glyxambi (empagliflozin and linagliptin)

Glyxambi (empagliflozin and linagliptin) was approved in 2015. This drug is used alongside exercise and diet to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes when treatment with empagliflozin and linagliptin is appropriate.

Highlights for Glyxambi are:

  • The recommended dose is 10 mg empagliflozin/5 mg linagliptin once in the morning.
  • Dosage may then be increased to 25 mg empagliflozin/5 mg linagliptin once daily.

Steglujan (Ertugliflozin and Sitagliptin)

Steglujan (ertugliflozin and sitagliptin) was approved in 2017. It is used alongside diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes when treatment with ertugliflozin and sitagliptin is warranted.

Highlights for Steglujan are:

  • The recommended starting dose is 5 mg ertugliflozin/100 mg sitagliptin once daily.
  • This dose can be increased to 15 mg ertugliflozin/100 mg sitagliptin once daily for those who tolerate the drug and need further glycemic control.

Warning: Lactic Acidosis

The following medicines carry a warning for lactic acidosis:

  • Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin and metformin HCI extended-release)
  • Synjardy (empagliflozin and metformin hydrochloride)
  • Segluromet (ertugliflozin and metformin hydrochloride)

Xigduo XR (Dapagliflozin and Metformin HCI Extended-Release)

Xigduo XR (dapagliflozin and metformin HCI extended-release) was approved in 2014. This drug contains both dapagliflozin and metformin and is prescribed to improve glyemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes, along with diet and exercise.

Xigduo XR is not recommended for patients with type 1 diabetes.

Dosage varies based on a patient's current treatment.

Synjardy (Empagliflozin and Metformin Hydrochloride)

Synjardy (empagliflozin and metformin hydrochloride) was approved in 2015. This drug is used to improve glycemic control, along with diet and exercise, in adults with type 2 diabetes who have not had adequate glycemic control with drugs containing empagliflozin or metformin, or in patients already being treated with these. See above for warnings regarding lactic acidosis and this drug.

Segluromet (Ertugliflozin and Metformin Hydrochloride)

Segluromet (ertugliflozin and metformin hydrochloride) was approved in 2017. It is used along with exercise and diet to improve the glycemic control of adults with type 2 diabetes who have not been adequately controlled on ertugliflozin or metformin, or in patients who are being treated with these. See the previous warnings regarding lactic acidosis and this drug.

New Insulins

Tresiba (Insulin Degludec Injection)

Tresiba (insulin degludec injection) was approved in 2015. It is for subcutaneous use. It is a long-acting insulin prescribed to improve glycemic control in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Dosage varies based on:

  • Type of diabetes
  • Blood glucose monitoring results
  • Metabolic needs
  • Goals for glycemic control

Tresiba is not recommended for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Toujeo (Insuline Glargine Injection)

Toujeo (insulin glargine injection) was approved in 2015. It is for subcutaneous use. It is a long-acting insulin indicated for adults with diabetes (type 1 or type 2) and is used to improve glycemic control. It is administered once daily, at the same time every day.

Dosage varies based on:

  • Type of diabetes
  • Blood glucose monitoring results
  • Metabolic needs
  • Goals for glycemic control

Xultophy (Insulin Degludec and Liraglutide Injection)

Xultophy (insulin degludec and liraglutide injection) was approved in 2016. It is for subcutaneous use. It is a long-acting insulin used along with diet and exercise for improvement of glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes who have inadequate glycemic control on basal insulin or liraglutide.

Xultophy is not recommended as a first-line medication in those with inadequate diet and exercise.

Warning: Xultophy and Risk of Thyroid C-Cell Tumors

Liraglutide, an ingredient in Xultophy, causes thyroid c-cell tumors in male and female rats and mice. It is not known whether Xultophy causes thyroid c-cell tumors in humans.

New Injectables 

Soliqua (Insulin Glargine and Lixisenatide Injection)

Soliqua (insulin glargine and lixisenatide injection) was approved for use in 2016. It is an injection for subcutaneous use. It contains a combination of a long-acting insulin and a glucagon-like peptide, and is used along with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes who have inadequate glycemic control on basal insulin or lixisenatide.

It is not recommended for those with astroparesis.

Ozempic (Semaglutide)

Ozempic (semaglutide) was approved in 2017. It is an injection for subcutaneous use. It is a glucagon-like peptide used along with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is not recommended as a first-line treatment for patients who have inadequate glycemic control with diet and exercise.

Warning: Ozempic and Risk of Thyroid C-Cell Tumors

Semaglutide causes thyroid c-cell tumors in rodents. It is not known whether Ozempic causes thyroid c-cell tumors in humans.

Adlyxin (Lixisenatide)

Adlyxin (lixisenatide) was approved in 2016. It is a glucagon-like peptide and is prescribed along with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is an injection used subcutaneously.

It is administered once a day an hour before the first meal. It can be injected into the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. The initial dosage is 10 mcg once a day for 14 days; at day 15, dosage increases to 20 mcg daily.

A Word From Verywell

There are a number of medications available for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. New treatments since 2015 include oral medicines, insulins, and injectable medicines. These may be indicated if previous treatments have proved inadequate for glycemic control.

Many of these medicines are used in conjunction with diet and exercise to better manage glycemic levels. If you are on any of these medications, you should be aware of any warnings associated with these drugs. It can be confusing knowing what medication is the right one for you. If you think you may want to switch medications to manage type 1 or type 2 diabetes, have a discussion with your healthcare provider.

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12 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Steglatro. Updated January 2020.

  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Glyxambi. Updated January 2015.

  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Steglujan. Updated December 2017.

  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Xigduo XR. Updated October 2014.

  5. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Synjardy. Updated August 2015.

  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Segluromet. Updated December 2017.

  7. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Tresiba. Updated September 2015.

  8. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Toujeo. Updated February 2015.

  9. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Xultophy. Updated November 2016.

  10. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Soliqua. Updated August 2017.

  11. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Ozempic. Updated December 2017.

  12. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Highlights of prescribing information: Adlyxin. Updated July 2016.