Onglyza 2.5mg
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*Maximum: 90-day supply  Maximum 90-day supply
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Product type:
Active Ingredient(s):
2.5 mg
Pack Size:
30 tablet(s)
Bristol-Myers Squibb


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General Information About Onglyza

Onglyza is an innovative drug that helps control high blood sugar level in people suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus. The drug is used as an adjunct to diet and exercise in order to improve the glycemic control in diabetic patients. The drug was approved by the FDA in 2009 and is now being marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Active ingredient

The active component of the drug is Saxagliptin which is a selective reversible inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4). DPP-4 is the enzyme that is responsible for the degradation of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP)1. Both of these are Incretin hormones and stimulate the post-meal release of insulin from the beta cells of pancreas while suppressing the glucagon release at the same time. The net effect is better glycemic control2.

Dosage information

The drug comes in packs, each containing 30 pale yellow to light yellow, biconvex, round, film-coated tablets. The recommended dose of Saxagliptin is 2.5 mg per day which can be increased to 5 mg per day as advised by the doctor, depending upon the patient’s needs. The drug has no association with meals and can be taken with or without meal. The drug is not recommended for use in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus or diabetic ketoacidosis.

Conditions treated by Onglyza

The drug is specifically used for controlling the elevated blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus as an add-on therapy to dietary control and exercise. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by insulin resistance in which the insulin receptors become resistant to its effects.

Side effects

The common side effects observed in people taking Onglyza include

  • Headache
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Arthralgia (joint pain)
  • Acute pancreatitis

Warnings and Precautions

The following precautionary measures should be exercised with the use of Onglyza.


Hypersensitivity reactions like anaphylaxis, angioedema, exfoliative skin conditions etc.


Onglyza may be prescribed as an adjunct to other anti-diabetic drugs such as sulfonylureas or insulin. It is necessary to use lower doses of the other anti-diabetic drugs. Combinations always increase the risk of hypoglycemia in diabetic patients therefore, it is imperative to closely monitor the blood sugar levels in people receiving combination drugs.

If signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis (upper abdominal pain radiating to the back that worsens after meals, fever, rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting, and tenderness on abdominal palpation etc.) develop, the drug must be discontinued at once.

Any history of alcoholism, gallstones or high triglyceride levels should be noted in patents who are to receive Onglyza since they are the common risk factors for acute pancreatitis.

Hypersensitivity reactions to Onglyza are very common and if any of the signs of drug hypersensitivity develop, the drug should be immediately discontinued and the doctor be consulted at once.

The dosage of Onglyza should be limited to 2.5 mg in patients with renal impairment regardless of the severity of impairment so it is necessary to check the renal functions tests before initiating therapy.

Onglyza is a pregnancy category B drug. Its use in pregnant women should be initiated only if its benefits outweigh the potential risks associated with it. It should be used only if its use is imperative.

Animal studies have shown Saxagliptin to be excreted in the milk however, the same cannot be said of humans. Nursing mothers should inform their healthcare provider or endocrinologist if they are to be given Onglyza and should use it with caution.

The safety of Onglyza 2.5 mg in pediatric population under the age of 18 years has not been established as yet.

Drug interactions

Strong CYP3A4/5 inhibitors : Ketoconazole, Atazanavir, Clarithromycin, Indinavir, Itraconazole, Nefazodone, Nelfinavir, Ritonavir, Saquinavir, and Telithromycin

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Onglyza?

Onglyza is a prescription drug that is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The drug is prescribed as an adjunct to exercise and diet for better glycemic control.

How does Onglyza work?

Onglyza contains Saxagliptin as its active ingredient which is a selective reversible inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), an enzyme responsible for the degradation of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), Incretin hormones that stimulate the post-meal release of insulin from the beta cells of pancreas while suppressing the glucagon release at the same time. The net effect is better glycemic control

How to store it?

Always store Onglyza at room temperature between 15oC to 30oC, away from direct light, heat and moisture. Keep the drug out of reach of children.

Is there any alternative generic brand to Onglyza?

There is no alternative to Onglyza. The drug should be taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor.

How and when to take Onglyza?

The recommended dose of the drug is 2.5 mg per day which may be increased to 5mg per day by the doctor depending on the patient’s needs and glycemic control. Onglyza 2.5 mg can be taken with or without meals.

Why do doctors prescribe Onglyza?

Onglyza 2.5 mg is commonly prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is, however, not approved for use in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus or those suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis.

What is type 2 diabetes mellitus?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Common symptoms include excessive thirst, increased urinary frequency, unexplained weight loss, lethargy etc.

What if I overdose?

If you accidentally overdose on Onglyza, report to the nearest medical facility, call your healthcare provider or call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 right away.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Onglyza, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if the time of next dose is impending, do not take the missed dose to avoid over dosage of the drug. Call your doctor if you are not sure about the missed dose schedule.


1. Deacon, Carolyn F., Richard D. Carr, and Jens J. Holst. "DPP-4 inhibitor therapy: new directions in the treatment of type 2 diabetes." Frontiers in bioscience: a journal and virtual library 13 (2008): 1780-1794.

2. Deacon, Carolyn F., and Jens J. Holst. "Saxagliptin: a new dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor for the treatment of type 2 diabetes." Advances in therapy 26.5 (2009): 488-499.

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