Anti-obesity fixed-dose combinations

Clifford J. Bailey, Caroline Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The management of hypertension, dyslipidaemia and hyperglycaemia often requires multiple medications that combine two or more agents with different modes of action to give additive efficacy. In some situations lower doses of two agents with different modes of action can achieve greater efficacy than a
high dose of one agent. This is achieved by addressing different pathophysiological features of the disease, whilst at the same time producing fewer side effects than a high dose of one agent. Several examples of this have been described for combinations of blood glucose-lowering therapies in type 2 diabetes. However, the pill burden associated with multiple medications can reduce patient adherence and compromise the potential value of the treatments. To reduce the number of daily doses, single-tablet (‘fixed-dose’) combinations have been introduced to offer greater convenience. There are several ant-diabetic FDCs, mostly combining metformin with another type of glucose-lowering agent.
The UK has been less enthusiastic about FDCs than many other parts of the world, and does not have most of these combinations available. One of the concerns expressed about FDCs is a reduced flexibility to select desired doses of the two agents for dose titration. However, in practise the variety of dosage
strengths for most FDCs matches the dosages available as separate tablets. Another concern has been the preference to add drugs one at a time to be able to attribute any adverse effects. In most cases the FDC is used when a second drug has been added to a monotherapy that is already a component of the FDC, so it is only the same as adding one agent but without increasing the pill burden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-5
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


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