Together with diet and exercise, Xultophy is added to treatment with diabetes medicines taken by mouth when these medicines, alone or with other injections, have not controlled blood glucose (sugar) levels.
The active substances in Xultophy are insulin degludec and liraglutide.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin to control the level of blood glucose, or the body is unable to use insulin effectively. One of the active substances in Xultophy, insulin degludec, is a replacement insulin that acts in the same way as naturally produced insulin and helps glucose enter cells from the blood. By controlling the level of blood glucose, the symptoms and complications of diabetes are reduced. Insulin degludec is slightly different from human insulin as it is absorbed more slowly and regularly by the body after an injection and it works for a long time.
The other active substance in Xultophy, liraglutide, belongs to the class of diabetes medicines known as GLP-1 agonists. It acts in the same way as incretins (hormones produced in the gut) by increasing the amount of insulin that the pancreas releases in response to food. This helps with the control of blood glucose levels.
The European Medicines Agency decided that Xultophy’s benefits are greater than its risks and it can be authorised for use in the EU. Adding this medicine to other diabetes medicines offers better control of blood glucose and having an alternative treatment option is valuable in individualising treatment.