[en] Introduction: Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors offer new options for the management of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). The novel compound linagliptin has important different pharmacokinetic (PK) properties, when compared with previously commercialized DPP-4 inhibitors, which may offer some advantages in clinical practice. Linagliptin has a unique PK/pharmacodynamic (PD) profile and is the first DPP-4 inhibitor with a nonrenal elimination route. Therefore, it can be administered in patients with renal impairment without dose adjustment or monitoring of renal function. The drug has a low potential for drug-drug interactions (DDIs) and no clinically relevant ones were reported so far. Areas covered: An extensive literature search was performed to analyse primarily PK and secondarily PD characteristics of linagliptin in both healthy volunteers and patients with T2DM (treated with linagliptin as monotherapy or combined therapy). Updated information about linagliptin PK either after single administration (large dose range) or after chronic administration (steady state) were also included. A special focus has been put on DDIs and on PK/PD of linagliptin in patients with renal impairment. Expert opinion: Head-to-head comparative studies and/or increased clinical experience with DPP-4 inhibitors will determine the clinical advantage, if any, of one agent over another.