What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking It?
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking saxagliptin if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Type 1 diabetes
- Ever had pancreatitis (inflammation or infection of the pancreas)
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Onglyza and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Onglyza and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Saxagliptin to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
How Does Saxagliptin Work?
Saxagliptin is part of a class of diabetes medicine called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. DPP-4 is an enzyme that breaks down incretin hormones.
As a DPP-4 inhibitor, saxagliptin slows down the breakdown of incretin hormones, increasing the level of these hormones in the body. It is this increase in incretin hormones that is responsible for the beneficial actions of saxagliptin, including increasing insulin production in response to meals and decreasing the amount of glucose (sugar) that the liver produces.
Because incretin hormones are more active in response to higher blood sugar levels (and are less active in response to low blood sugar), the risk of dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is low with saxagliptin.