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Onglyza is a prescription medication used in combination with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes in adults. The active ingredient in Onglyza is saxagliptin, which helps increase the levels of incretin hormones in the body, leading to increased insulin production and decreased glucose production by the liver.

The inactivation of the incretin hormones like glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulin tropic polypeptide (GIP) is slowed down by this inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), which also reduces hepatic glucose production and minimizes the secretion of glucagon from pancreatic alpha cells.

Saxagliptin can be used alone or in combination with metformin, sulfonylureas, or thiazolidinediones as directed by your physician. Saxagliptin is available in tablet form and typically taken once daily, regardless of meals. However, it is not indicated to treat diabetic ketoacidosis, type 1 diabetic Mellitus, and patients with a history of pancreatitis.

Uses and Dosage

Saxagliptin, which is sold under the brand name Onglyza, is available in tablet form and should be taken orally once daily with or without food, as prescribed by your doctor. Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water immediately after taking. The manufacturer advises against cutting, crushing, or chewing the tablet.

Take Saxagliptin regularly according to your dosing schedule, as your dosage is determined by your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you are taking. Even if you feel well, do not stop taking this medication to avoid complications of diabetes. Note, Saxagliptin should be used in conjunction with a treatment plan that includes a recommended diet, exercise, and other medications prescribed by your physician.

The recommended dosage of Onglyza (Saxagliptin) is 2.5 mg or 5 mg taken orally once a day, regardless of meals. The dose may be adjusted based on individual patient needs, and your doctor may also prescribe a different dosage depending on other medications you are taking or your medical condition.

Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Onglyza (Saxagliptin):

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Throat irritation

Serious Side Effects of Onglyza (Saxagliptin):

  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Joint pain
  • Signs of heart failure (shortness of breath, unusual tiredness, sudden weight gain, swelling of the extremities)
  • Signs of pancreatic disease (severe abdominal pain that radiates to the back, persistent nausea, and vomiting)
  • Unusual skin blisters

Form and Strength

Onglyza (Saxagliptin) is available in the following forms and strength:

Onglyza: Tablet

  • 2.5 mg
  • 5 mg

Saxagliptin: Tablet

  • 5 mg


  • Heart failure risk: Onglyza can increase the risk of heart failure, especially in patients who already have heart or kidney problems.
  • Hypoglycemia: Onglyza should be used with caution when taken with insulin or sulfonylureas, which can increase the risk of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
  • Pancreatitis: Onglyza can increase the risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to Onglyza, which can cause symptoms such as swelling, difficulty breathing, and skin rash.
  • Liver disease: Onglyza should be used with caution in patients with moderate to severe liver disease.
  • Renal impairment: Onglyza should be used with caution in patients with moderate to severe kidney impairment.
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis): Onglyza can increase the risk of cholecystitis, especially in patients with a history of gallbladder disease.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions: Some people may experience hypersensitivity reactions such as anaphylaxis or severe skin reactions while taking Onglyza.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency: Onglyza may increase the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can cause symptoms such as anemia and nerve damage.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The safety of Onglyza during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established, so it should only be used in these populations if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Onglyza be taken together with other diabetes medications?

In some cases, Onglyza may be taken in combination with other diabetes medications to achieve better blood sugar control. However, this should only be done under the supervision of a doctor.

Can Onglyza cause weight gain?

Onglyza is not known to cause weight gain as a side effect. However, balance medication use with diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight.

Is there a generic version of Onglyza available?

Yes, there is a generic version of Onglyza available called saxagliptin.

Can saxagliptin cause heart failure?

Saxagliptin may interfere with cardiac tissue remodeling and thus play a role in the pathophysiological mechanisms of end-stage chronic heart failure.


Additional information

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Online Pharmacies Canada has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Onglyza (Saxagliptin). Talk to your doctor or other qualified medical practitioners for medical attention or advice, or if you have any concerns about Onglyza (Saxagliptin).