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Why is it Prescribed?
Onglyza (Saxagliptin)is used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes (a condition in which blood sugar is too high because the body does not produce or use insulin normally). Saxagliptin is in a class of medications called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. It works by increasing the amount of insulin produced by the body after meals when blood sugar is high. Saxagliptin is not used to treat type 1 diabetes (a condition in which the body does not produce insulin and, therefore, cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood) or diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious condition that may develop if high blood sugar is not treated). Over time, people who have diabetes and high blood sugar can develop serious or life-threatening complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, nerve damage, and eye problems. Taking medication(s), making lifestyle changes (e.g., diet, exercise, quitting smoking), and regularly checking your blood sugar may help to manage your diabetes and improve your health. This therapy may also decrease your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes-related complications such as kidney failure, nerve damage (numb, cold legs or feet; decreased sexual ability in men and women), eye problems, including changes or loss of vision, or gum disease. Your doctor and other healthcare providers will talk to you about the best way to manage your diabetes.
Saxagliptin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take saxagliptin at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take saxagliptin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Saxagliptin controls type 2 diabetes but does not cure it. Continue to take saxagliptin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking saxagliptin without talking to your doctor.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to saxagliptin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in saxagliptin tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: certain antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral); clarithromycin (Biaxin); certain medications for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) or AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) such as atazanavir (Reyataz, in Evotaz), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Invirase); insulin or oral medications for diabetes such as chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glimepiride (Amaryl, in Duetact), glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase, in Glucovance), nateglinide (Starlix), pioglitazone (Actos, in Actoplus Met, in Duetact), repaglinide (Prandin, in Prandimet), rosiglitazone (Avandia), tolazamide, and tolbutamide; nefazodone; and telithromycin (no longer available in the U.S.; Ketek). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
Tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, if you have or have ever had pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas), gallstones, high levels of triglycerides (fatty substances) in your blood, heart failure, diabetic ketoacidosis, or kidney disease.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking saxagliptin, call your doctor.
If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking saxagliptin.
Talk to your doctor about what you should do if you get hurt or if you develop a fever or infection. These conditions may affect your blood sugar and the amount of saxagliptin you may need.
This medication may cause changes in your blood sugar. You should know the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and what to do if you have these symptoms.
Saxagliptin may cause side effects.
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking saxagliptin and call your doctor immediately:
-Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
-Difficulty breathing or swallowing
-Ongoing pain, that begins in the upper left or middle of the stomach but may spread to the back
-Loss of appetite
-Shortness of breath, especially when lying down
-Swelling of the feet, ankles, or legs
-Sudden weight gain
Saxagliptin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
What to do in case of emergency/overdose?
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will probably order certain laboratory tests before and during your treatment with saxagliptin to check your body's response to it. Your blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) should be checked regularly to determine your response to saxagliptin. Your doctor may also tell you how to check your response to saxagliptin by measuring your blood or urine sugar levels at home. Follow these directions carefully.