Jul 30, 2022

Generic name: saxagliptin [ SAX-a-GLIP-tin ]
Brand name:  Onglyza
Dosage form: oral tablet (2.5 mg; 5 mg)
Drug class:  Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors

What is saxagliptin?

Saxagliptin is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2  diabetes mellitus . Saxagliptin is not for treating  type 1 diabetes .

Saxagliptin is sometimes used in combination with other diabetes medications.

Saxagliptin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not use saxagliptin if you are in a state of  diabetic ketoacidosis  (call your doctor for treatment with  insulin ).

Saxagliptin is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to saxagliptin, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
  • heart disease;
  • pancreatitis ;
  • gallstones ;
  • high triglycerides  (a type of fat in the blood); or
  • alcoholism .

Follow your doctor’s instructions about using this medicine if you are pregnant or you become pregnant. Controlling diabetes is very important during pregnancy, and having high blood sugar may cause complications in both the mother and the baby.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Saxagliptin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take saxagliptin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

You may take saxagliptin with or without food. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor’s office.

You may have  low blood sugar  (hypoglycemia) and feel very hungry, dizzy, irritable, confused, anxious, or shaky. To quickly treat  hypoglycemia , eat or drink a fast-acting source of sugar (fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or non-diet soda).

Your doctor may prescribe a  glucagon  injection kit in case you have severe hypoglycemia. Be sure your family or close friends know how to give you this injection in an emergency.

Blood sugar levels can be affected by  stress , illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your dose or medication schedule.

Saxagliptin is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, blood sugar testing, and special medical care. Follow your doctor’s instructions very closely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Do not take two doses at one time, and do not take an extra dose the next day.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. You may have signs of low blood sugar, such as extreme weakness, confusion, tremors, sweating,  fast heart rate , trouble speaking,  nausea ,  vomiting , rapid breathing, fainting, and seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking saxagliptin?

Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Saxagliptin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction:  hives , a purple or red  skin rash  that spreads and causes blistering and peeling; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking saxagliptin and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of pancreatitis: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back,  nausea and vomiting , loss of appetite, or fast heartbeats.

Saxagliptin may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe or ongoing pain in your joints;
  • pain or burning when you urinate; or
  • heart problems–shortness of breath (even while lying down), feeling weak or tired, rapid weight gain, swelling (especially in your feet, legs, or midsection.

Common side effects of saxagliptin may include:

  • painful urination;
  • headache ;
  • runny or stuffy nose,  sore throat , cough; or
  • swelling in your hands or feet.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Saxagliptin side effects  (more detail)

Saxagliptin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Diabetes Type 2:

2.5 or 5 mg orally once a day, regardless of meals

Coadministration with strong CYP450 3A4/5 inhibitors: 2.5 mg orally once a day

Use: Adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with  type 2 diabetes  in multiple clinical settings

Detailed Saxagliptin dosage information

What other drugs will affect saxagliptin?

Other drugs may increase or decrease the effects of saxagliptin on lowering your blood sugar. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines,  vitamins , and  herbal products . Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

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