Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Onglyza


Saxagliptin is used with proper diet and exercise to treat high blood sugar (glucose) levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Saxagliptin helps to control blood sugar levels by making the pancreas gland release more insulin. It also signals the liver to stop producing sugar when there is too much sugar in the blood. This medicine does not help patients who have insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of saxagliptin in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of saxagliptin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving saxagliptin.


Information about this saxagliptin-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters B Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Balofloxacin
  • Besifloxacin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Ceritinib
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Cobicistat
  • Crizotinib
  • Dabrafenib
  • Eliglustat
  • Enoxacin
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Fleroxacin
  • Flumequine
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Idelalisib
  • Lanreotide
  • Levofloxacin
  • Lomefloxacin
  • Lomitapide
  • Mitotane
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Nadifloxacin
  • Nilotinib
  • Norfloxacin
  • Octreotide
  • Ofloxacin
  • Pasireotide
  • Pazufloxacin
  • Pefloxacin
  • Piperaquine
  • Primidone
  • Prulifloxacin
  • Rufloxacin
  • Siltuximab
  • Simeprevir
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Tocophersolan
  • Tosufloxacin
  • Ulipristal

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acebutolol
  • Atenolol
  • Betaxolol
  • Bisoprolol
  • Carteolol
  • Carvedilol
  • Celiprolol
  • Esmolol
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Labetalol
  • Levobunolol
  • Linezolid
  • Methylene Blue
  • Metipranolol
  • Metoprolol
  • Moclobemide
  • Nadolol
  • Nebivolol
  • Nialamide
  • Oxprenolol
  • Penbutolol
  • Phenelzine
  • Pindolol
  • Practolol
  • Procarbazine
  • Propranolol
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Sotalol
  • Timolol
  • Tranylcypromine

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Alcohol, excessive use or
  • Gallstones, history of or
  • Hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides or fats in the blood) or
  • Pancreatitis, history of—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of unwanted effects.

This medicine comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Carefully follow the special meal plan your doctor gave you. This is the most important part of controlling your condition, and is necessary if the medicine is to work properly. Also, exercise regularly and test for sugar in your blood or urine as directed.

Swallow the tablet whole. Do not break, cut, or chew it. Take this medicine with or without food.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For Type 2 diabetes:
      • Adults—2.5 or 5 milligrams (mg) once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.


It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Pancreatitis (swelling and inflammation of the pancreas) may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, or lightheadedness.

This medicine may cause serious types of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, angioedema, and serious skin reactions. These conditions may be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Check with your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, a large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs, skin flaking or peeling, trouble with breathing, or chest tightness while you are using this medicine.

Saxagliptin may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This can also occur if you delay or miss a meal or snack, drink alcohol, exercise more than usual, take certain medicines, or take saxagliptin together with other types of diabetes medicines. People feel different symptoms with low blood sugar. It is very important that you learn which symptoms you usually have so you can treat it quickly.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) include anxiety, behavior change similar to being drunk, blurred vision, cold sweats, confusion, cool, pale skin, difficulty with thinking, drowsiness, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, headache (continuing), nausea, nervousness, nightmares, restless sleep, shakiness, slurred speech, or unusual tiredness or weakness. Low blood sugar must be treated before it causes you to pass out (unconsciousness). Talk to your doctor about ways to treat low blood sugar.

This medicine may cause severe joint pain. Call your doctor right away if you have severe joint pain with this medicine.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Anxiety
  2. bladder pain
  3. bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  4. bloody or cloudy urine
  5. blurred vision
  6. body aches or pain
  7. chills
  8. cold sweats
  9. confusion
  10. cool, pale skin
  11. cough
  12. depression
  13. difficult, burning, or painful urination
  14. difficulty with breathing
  15. dizziness
  16. ear congestion
  17. fast heartbeat
  18. fever
  19. frequent urge to urinate
  20. headache
  21. increased hunger
  22. loss of voice
  23. lower back or side pain
  24. nasal congestion
  25. nausea
  26. nightmares
  27. rapid weight gain
  28. runny nose
  29. seizures
  30. shakiness
  31. slurred speech
  32. sneezing
  33. sore throat
  34. tingling of the hands or feet
  35. unusual tiredness or weakness
  36. unusual weight gain or loss

Incidence not known

  1. Constipation
  2. darkened urine
  3. difficulty with swallowing
  4. flaking or peeling of the skin
  5. hives or skin rash
  6. indigestion
  7. large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  8. loss of appetite
  9. pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  10. puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  11. severe joint pain
  12. tightness in the chest
  13. vomiting
  14. yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

  1. Diarrhea
  2. pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  3. redness of the skin
  4. weakness
  5. welts

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.