Brand Name (Generic Name)

Onglyza (saxagliptin)

What is Onglyza?

Onglyza is an oral prescription medicine used along with diet and exercise to control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is a member of the DPP4 Inhibitor family of medicines that we have nicknamed "gliptins". Onglyza works by enhancing the body's natural ability to control high blood sugar. As your blood sugar begins to go up after a meal, Onglyza 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. As the blood sugar goes down to normal levels the Onglyza backs away so that is why it usually does not cause your blood sugar to drop too low.

Who can take Onglyza?

Selected people with type 2 diabetes can take this medicine. It can be taken alone or in combination with some of the other diabetes medicines.

Who should not take Onglyza?

Onglyza should not be used to treat people with type 1 diabetes or to treat diabetic ketoacidosis (dangerously high levels of certain acids, known as ketones, in the blood or urine). Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast feeding before starting Onglyza. It must be used with caution if you have reduced kidney function.


When used alone Onglyza 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, a thiazolidinedione (TZD), or a sulfonylurea. It seems to work even better in combination that it does alone.

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

Onglyza is usually taken one time each day and can be taken with or without food. Do not cut or crush the tablet before taking.

What are the common side effects?

• Common side effects of Onglyza include:
• Upper respiratory tract infection,
• Urinary tract infection,
• Headache
• These are not all of the possible side effects so tell your health care provider if you have any side effects that bother you or that do not go away.

Download the Onglyza medication guide.

Reviewed by James A. Bennett 5/14

Last Modified Date: July 07, 2014

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

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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