Some pharmaceutical companies have managed to come quite close to making drugs that have little to no side effects at all.
Imagine if we had medications that could be taken to relieve patients of their symptoms, without creating new or worsening symptoms?
One example of this is Tradjenta or Linagliptin. It is used in patients that suffer from type 2 diabetes. It is used as a dipeptidylpeptidase-4 inhibitor. Enzymes within this are used to break down hormones found within the intestine. This is a hormone secreted after a meal. This then stimulates the pancreas to start making insulin and stop with the glucagon. This is beneficial to those that have type 2 diabetes. This makes the hormone last longer in the body, allowing the person to receive the benefits of reduced blood sugar levels to reduce the chances of hypoglycemia.
In patients that receive this treatment, it reduces their HbA1C by around 0.6 to 0.8% from their baseline of 8.0. This is a small change, not too significant.
During clinical trials, it was shown that 2% (give or take), of patients suffered side effects. However, it was shown that there were not many side effects and even those given the placebo drug also had the same ones.
These are the results from the trial:
These results are astonishing! With thousands of patients studied with the treatment, only 2% of those have suffered from these adverse effects. Even if the effects did not come from the treatment itself, it is still recorded. So many of these people could have had a common cold during the time of treatment, which would still be recorded anyway.
All in all, biological systems are complex. The drug that is taken, by nature, will irritate the system to some degree. Some drugs are especially more prone to doing so within the body than others. Changing the balance in the body can result in side effects that are not particularly desired. However, with the new advancements found within this new drug, it is on the safe side to say that soon we may be able to create other drugs that have little to no side effects, as well. Whether the drug is potent or has reduced effects, reducing the amount of side effects that come with it is always a good thing.