Eucreas is an oral antidiabetic medicine that comes in the form of a film-coated tablet. The tablet contains two active ingredients. Vildagliptin which makes the pancreas produce more insulin and less glucagon – glucagon is what triggers the liver to make sugar and increases the blood sugar level; Metformin hydrochloride which helps the body to use the insulin that is does have more effectively. Eucreas tablets are available in two different strengths: 50 mg/850mg; 50 mg/1000mg.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, it means that the insulin in your body is unable to ensure the glucose produced by your food is absorbed and converted into fuel for your body. This makes your blood sugar level to rise which is dangerous and can cause the body to shut down. Usually, Type 2 diabetes can be managed well with medication and in most cases, insulin is not needed until the medicines no longer work. Exercise and diet also have an important role to play in the management of diabetes. There are a range of medicines available to treat type 2 diabetes, often metformin is the first one you try, but you may end up needing a combination of medicines to ensure you get the right treatment to control your diabetes and help you lead a normal life.
What is Eucreas?
Eucreas is an oral antidiabetic medicine that comes in the form of a film-coated tablet. The tablet contains two active ingredients.
- Vildagliptin which makes the pancreas produce more insulin and less glucagon – glucagon is what triggers the liver to make sugar and increases the blood sugar level;
- Metformin hydrochloride which helps the body to use the insulin that is does have more effectively.
Eucreas tablets are available in two different strengths:
- 50 mg/850mg;
- 50 mg/1000mg.
When is Eucreas used?
Eucreas is used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults.
- Type 2 diabetes is when the insulin your pancreas makes can’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin;
- Eucreas works to reduce the blood sugar level in your body to help prevent complications from diabetes;
- Eucreas is often taken alongside a diet and exercise plan, you must follow all the instructions of your doctor if you want to lead a normal healthy life.
How do you use Eucreas?
Always follow the instructions of your doctor when it comes to taking medicine as doses and methods can vary according to what an individual needs. As a general guide, take Eucreas as follows.
- Eucreas comes in tablet form;
- Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water;
- Take the tablet just after food to minimize the risk of getting an upset stomach.
What dosages are there?
It is always important to take the dose that your doctor prescribes as although a dose is listed on the medication leaflet, this may need to vary for a variety of reasons, for example, any other health issues you have or any other medication you are taking. If you are unsure about the dose check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Eucreas comes in two different strengths, 50 mg/850mg and 50 mg/1000mg. The correct dose for you will depend on your condition.
The standard dose is:
- One tablet, twice a day with food;
- Take one tablet with your breakfast and one with your evening meal;
- You may take Eucreas alongside other medicines to treat your diabetes, your doctor will be able to guide you with his;
- If you have reduced kidney function you will likely take a lower dose than normal;
- If you are also taking Sulphonylurea, another antidiabetic medicine, then you may need to take a lower dose of Eucreas;
- In addition to taking medication, you may need to follow a diet and exercise plan that you’ll be given by your doctor. It is important to stick to this and plan ahead to set yourself up for success;
- Eucreas needs to be taken on a long-term basis to control your symptoms so take the tablets continuously until your doctor tells you to stop taking them.
If you forget to take your tablet when you are supposed to, simply take it at your next mealtime, unless that is when your next dose is due, then just take the one tablet. Never take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
If you take more Eucreas than you should seek immediate medical assistance as this could have serious consequences.
What are the side effects of Eucreas?
As with all medicines, Eucreas comes with a risk of some side effects, although not everyone who takes Eucreas will experience them.
There are several potentially serious side effects. If you experience any of these stop taking Eucreas and seek immediate medical assistance.
- Angioedema – swelling underneath the skin – look out for:
- Swollen face, tongue or throat;
- Difficulty breathing;
- The sudden appearance of a rash or hives.
- Lactic acidosis – when the body produces too much lactic acid and there isn’t enough oxygen in the body to break down glucose and glycogen – Look out for:
- Stomach ache;
- Muscle cramps;
- Severe tiredness and feeling unwell;
- Breathing difficulties;
- Reduced body temperature and heartbeat.
Seek immediate medical assistance if you think you are suffering from Lactic acidosis as it can lead to a coma.
- Liver disease (hepatitis) – look out for:
- Yellow skin and eyes;
- Loss of appetite;
- Dark coloured urine.
- Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) – look out for:
- Severe, ongoing pain in the stomach area and back;
- Dehydration – if any of your side effects are causing dehydration (vomiting, diarrhoea or fever then talk to your doctor as you may need to lower your dose or stop taking Eucreas for a short time.
Very common side effects (may affect more than 1 in 10 people) include:
- Stomach pain;
- Loss of appetite.
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people) include:
- Metallic taste in the mouth;
- Low blood glucose;
- Uncontrollable trembling.
Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people) include:
- Swelling of the hands, feet or ankles;
- Joint pain;
Very rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people) include:
- Sore throat;
- Runny nose;
- Decreased levels of B12 (pale skin, tiredness, confusion);
- Symptoms of lactic acidosis (see above for more details).
Sometimes when other medicines are taken alongside Eucreas, this can lead to different side effects than taking each medicine on its own. For example:
Eucreas and Sulphonylurea
- Feeling of weakness;
- Excessive sweating;
- Low blood glucose.
Eucreas and insulin:
- Low blood glucose;
When shouldn’t you use Eucreas?
If any of the following apply to you, you should not take Eucreas:
- You are allergic to vildagliptin, metformin or any of the other ingredients listed on the packet;
- You have uncontrolled diabetes with either hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose) or ketoacidosis (an accumulation of ketone bodies in the blood);
- You have serious circulation problems or breathing difficulties;
- You have recently had a heart attack or have heart failure;
- You have a severe infection or are seriously dehydrated;
- You have liver problems;
- You have reduced kidney function;
- You are going to have a contrast x-ray (using injectable dye);
- You drink alcohol excessively (even if only from time to time);
- You are breastfeeding;
- You are under the age of 18;
- You have type 1 diabetes – Eucreas is not an insulin substitute;
- You are about to have major surgery;
- You have taken vildagliptin before and had to stop taking it because of liver disease.
Does Eucreas interact with other medications?
Always tell your doctor about any other medicines you are taking or have recently taken, this includes over-the-counter medicines and herbal medicines and supplements. Some medicines can interact with each other and either lessen their effectiveness or cause additional problems. With Eucreas pay particular attention to:
- Beta-2 agonists – used to treat respiratory disorders;
- Glucocorticoids – used to treat inflammation;
- Diuretics – medicines which increase the amount of urine you produce;
- Other medicines for diabetes;
- Medicines used to treat pain eg NSAIDS;
- Some medicines that affect the thyroid;
- Some medicines that affect the nervous system;
- Some medicines that treat high blood pressure (ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists).
You should also take special care if any of the following apply:
- You are taking Sulphonylurea, another antidiabetic medicine – you may need to alter the dose you are taking if you are taking Eucreas as well;
- You have taken vildagliptin before but had to stop taking it due to liver disease.
Where can you buy Eucreas?
You can buy Eucreas from any reputable pharmacy, find a convenient option to suit you, especially as this is a long-term medicine so you’ll need ongoing repeat prescriptions.
Can I get Eucreas without a prescription?
No, you cannot get Eucreas without a prescription. Diabetes is a very serious condition and as such should be monitored regularly by a doctor, you may need to switch to different medication as you continue your treatment if it isn’t working as effectively as it should and you can only keep track of this if you have regular consultations with a doctor. Eucreas also has a risk of serious side effects and should only be used as it is designed to be used.
Before you start taking Eucreas you will need a liver function test and this must then be repeated every three months for the first year of taking it. This is to detect any signs of an increase in liver enzymes as quickly as possible. You will also need to test your blood and urine for sugar regularly.
Diabetes UK, 2020. What Is Type 2 Diabetes?. Diabetes UK. Retrieved 1 April 2020, from: <https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/what-is-type-2-diabetes>
EMA, 2019. Eucreas – European Medicines Agency. European Medicines Agency. Retrieved 1 April 2020, from: <https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/EPAR/eucreas>
NHS UK, 2017. Type 2 Diabetes – Understanding Medicine. nhs.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2020, from: <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-2-diabetes/understanding-medication/>
Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, 2019. Medicines.org.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2020, from: <https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.6226.pdf>