Linagliptin is a competitive, reversible DPP-4 inhibitor. Inhibition of this enzyme slows the breakdown of GLP-1 and glucose-dependant insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). GLP-1 and GIP stimulate the release of insulin from beta cells in the pancreas while inhibiting release of glucagon from pancreatic beta cells. These effects together reduce the breakdown of glycogen in the liver and increase insulin release in response to glucose.
Linagliptin is used as monotherapy, or in combination with other antidiabetic medicines including insulin, for treatment of type 2 diabetes.