Brand Name (Generic Name)

Nesina (alogliptin)

What is Nesina?

Nesina is another member of the DPP-4 Inhibitor family of medicines that we call "gliptins". It works by supporting the "incretin system" of hormones thereby enhancing the body's natural ability to control high blood sugar. As your blood sugar begins to go up after a meal, Nesina goes to work by asking the pancreas to put out more insulin and it also keeps the liver from putting out unneeded glucose. These two actions together tend to lower your blood sugar particularly after meals but also during the rest of the day. It works in a "glucose dependent" way meaning that as the blood sugar goes down to normal levels the Nesina backs away. For this reason it usually does not cause the blood sugar to drop too low. It can be taken alone or in combination with some of other commonly prescribed medications for type 2 diabetes to produce a stronger effect.

Who can take Nesina?

Selected adults with type 2 diabetes can take Nesina.

Who should not take Nesina?

People with type 1 diabetes, those with ketoacidosis, or those who are allergic to any of the ingredients should not take Nesina. People with kidney or liver disease should use caution and may need a dose adjustment to be able to take Nesina.


Nesina is weight neutral meaning that it does not cause weight gain like some of the other diabetes medicines. When used alone it is unlikely to cause your blood sugar to be lowered to a dangerous level (hypoglycemia) because it does not cause insulin to be secreted when blood sugar is normal or low. It can be used alone or together with one of several common oral diabetes medicines, such as metformin, or a thiazolidinedione (TZD). It seems to work even better in combination that it does alone.

What dosage can I take and how should I take it?

The initial dosage is 25 mg, taken orally, with or without food. If necessary, your doctor can decrease this to 12.5 mg or 6.25. It is taken once daily.

What are the side effects?

The most common side effects of Nesina include:
• Stuffy or runny nose and sore throat
• Headache
• Cold-like symptoms (upper respiratory tract infection)

What else should you know about Nesina before you start?

There are warnings about possible pancreatitis issues. Please consult the accompanying FDA approved Medication Guide for further information.

Download the Nesina medication guide.

Reviewed by James A. Bennett 6/14

Last Modified Date: July 07, 2014

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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