Fixed-dose combination therapies in the management of hyperglycaemia in Type 2 diabetes: an opportunity to improve adherence and patient care

Diabet Med. 2010 Jul;27(7):739-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.03000.x.


The medication-taking behaviour of patients may be key to avoiding the serious long-term micro- and macrovascular complications of Type 2 diabetes. However, the polypharmacy often required to achieve good metabolic control can be a significant barrier to adequate adherence. Reducing treatment complexity can be achieved through the use of single-tablet fixed-dose combinations of two oral hypoglycaemic agents. Studies to date suggest that this approach can significantly improve adherence over separate tablet dual therapy and has the potential to improve metabolic and clinical outcomes. A range of fixed-dose combination oral hypoglycaemic agents in several different dosage strengths are available and the strategies for optimal implementation of these options continue to evolve. This article describes the extent and consequences of poor adherence to oral hypoglycaemic agents in Type 2 diabetes and discusses the potential contribution of fixed-dose combinations to the provision of improved care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / methods*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / psychology
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy*
  • Hyperglycemia / psychology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Medication Adherence / psychology
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Care


  • Hypoglycemic Agents