Linagliptin is shown to be effective and safe in lowering blood glucose levels in the elderly population….
In a study led by Barnett et al., patients aged 70 or greater with type 2 diabetes and an HbA1c of 7% or higher were randomized to either receive 5 mg of linagliptin, a DPP-4, or a placebo for 24 weeks. Prior to the study, these patients were on antidiabetic medications, which included metformin, sulfonylureas, and/or basal insulin. The study was designed as a randomized controlled trial and both investigators and participants were blinded to prevent any bias. The outcome measure was change in HbA1c from baseline to the end of the trial period, at week 24.
By the end of the trial, "placebo-adjusted mean change in HbA1c with linagliptin was −0·64% (95% CI −0·81 to −0·48, p<0·0001)." Safety and tolerability was also similar among the linagliptin and placebo group. Hypoglycemia was the most common adverse effect in both groups and the frequency of these episodes was not significantly different between the patients that received linagliptin or the placebo.
In conclusion, Barnett et al write that, "These findings could inform treatment decisions for achieving individualized glycemic goals with minimal risk in this important population of patients."
Barnett A et al. Linagliptin for patients aged 70 years or older with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with common antidiabetes treatments: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet. Published on line August 13, 2013.