Saxagliptin - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Saxagliptin: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Saxagliptin?

Saxagliptin is a medication used to treat type-2 diabetes. It belongs to a group of DDP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase-4) inhibitors. They are a class of drugs used to treat diabetes. 

Diabetes leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. Left unmonitored can cause various complexities in different organs of our body. 

These (DDP-4)s increase insulin in our bodies. This medication works at an optimum level when combined with proper diet and exercise. Saxagliptin is a generic name for onglyza. Januvia also belongs to this group and is the first drug to be approved in this class.

What are the uses of Saxagliptin?

Saxagliptin is primarily used to treat type-2 diabetes to lower blood sugar levels. An increase in blood sugar levels leads to various complexities in different organs of our body. This medication helps prevent long-term effects of diabetes such as blindness, loss of limbs, kidney damage, loss of normal sexual function, and nerve problems. The incidence of stroke and heart attack can also be controlled by proper monitoring of diabetes. Saxagliptin increases the level of natural substances called incretin, which increases insulin’s release into the blood and controls blood sugar, especially after consuming food. It also regulates the amount of sugar produced by the liver.

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What are the side effects of Saxagliptin?

You must take this medication as prescribed by the physician in its recommended dosage. The primary common side effect is diarrhea and stomach pain. By itself, Saxagliptin does not cause low blood pressure. Sometimes, its interaction with other drugs that a patient consumes may lead to hypoglycemia (decreased sugar level).

Hypoglycemia symptoms include:

  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Hunger.
  • Dizziness.
  • Sudden sweating.
  • Shaking or tingling of hands/feet.   
  • Dry mouth.

Hyperglycemia or increased heartbeat can occur too, and symptoms include:

  • Confusion.
  • Thirst.
  • Excessive urination.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Fruity breath odor.
  • Rapid breathing.

Watch out for the following severe symptoms: 

  • Joint pain.
  • Signs of heart failure (unusual tiredness, shortness of breath, swelling of feet or ankles).
  • Signs of disease of the pancreas (severe abdominal pain that spreads to the back, uncontrolled nausea/vomiting).
  • Allergic reactions rarely occur, but any symptoms of serious allergic reactions such as severe dizziness, rash, trouble breathing, itching, rashes, and swelling of mouth, face, tongue, or throat.

In case of severe side effects experienced, consult Yashoda Hospitals. 


Saxagliptin, taken orally, is usually taken once a day. The oral form of medicine is available as 2.5 mg and 5 mg. The dosage depends on the type of disease or condition being treated. Follow the directions on the prescription label carefully and take Saxagliptin precisely as directed. Do not take more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may start with a low dose and gradually increase. Subsequently, they may then decrease the quantity once your condition is under control.

Contact our medical experts at Yashoda Hospitals immediately for more information on the dosages and precautions necessary for Saxagliptin. 


Some of the precautions to take before or after being prescribed Saxagliptin include:

  • If you have to undergo surgery, inform the doctor that you are taking Saxagliptin.
  • If you have any allergies, the doctor has to be informed.
  • Medical history such as kidney disease, stone in the gallbladder, high levels of triglycerides, and pancreatitis must be informed to the doctor.
  • You may experience dizziness, blurred vision, or drowsiness (because of low or high blood pressure).
  • Keep away from alcohol during this medication, as it might lead to low blood pressure.


Frequently Asked Questions about Saxagliptin

1. How does Saxagliptin work?

Saxagliptin, a class of DPP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase-4) inhibitors, increases insulin levels in the blood. Consuming Saxagliptin increases the level of natural substances called incretin that increases the release of insulin into the blood and thereby controls the blood sugar levels, especially after meals consumption.

It binds competitively to the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor. It prevents the breakdown of glucagon-like peptide-1 resulting in increased secretion of insulin and decreased secretion of glucagon.

2. Does Saxagliptin cause weight gain?

Saxagliptin does not cause weight gain; however, most weight gain is due to water retention caused by type 2 diabetes but not due to medication. Saxagliptin mainly functions by increasing insulin levels in blood mediated by certain natural substances known as incretin.

3. Does Saxagliptin work for 24 hrs?

Saxagliptin is a drug used in the treatment of diabetes. It should be consumed as one tablet daily. For management of consistent blood sugar levels, it must be regularly consumed as prescribed by a physician. It works for 24 hrs but must be administered per the doctor’s prescription in the correct dosage to gain maximum benefits.

4. Is Saxagliptin nephrosafe?

Yes, Saxagliptin is nephrosafe. Several studies have shown that Saxagliptin has a protective action on the kidneys. Research has shown that Saxagliptin can be used for therapeutic use for certain renal disorders. Saxagliptin is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4, which improves kidney disorder known as albuminuria.

5. What are generic names for Saxagliptin?

Onglyza is the generic name Saxagliptin. It is one of the drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes. These drugs are called DPP-4 inhibitors. This medication works best when it is combined with proper diet and exercise.

6. Is Saxagliptin the same as Januvia?

Januvia is the generic name for Sitagliptin. Sitagliptin increases the amount of certain natural substances that lower blood sugar levels. Januvia and onglyza are sometimes used as combination medicine to treat diabetes. They are given as oral medicines.

7. What is the best time to take Saxagliptin?

Saxagliptin should be taken in the required dose as prescribed by the doctor. It can be taken at any time of the day. For best results, take it at the same time of the day. It can be taken before or after meals at your convenience.

8. Can Saxagliptin cause heart failure?

Saxagliptin does cause the risk of heart failure. Safety reviews of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) found that type 2 diabetes medicines with Saxagliptin and alogliptin may increase the risk of heart failure, particularly in patients who already have heart or kidney disease.

9. Can you take Metformin and Saxagliptin together?

Metformin and Saxagliptin can be taken together as a combination medication. This combination helps treat type-2 diabetes. They are orally taken to control blood sugar levels. Metformin decreases glucose production in the liver and also leads to reduced absorption of glucose by our intestine. Saxagliptin lowers blood sugar levels. This combined medication cannot be used to treat type-1 diabetes.

10. Is Saxagliptin a steroid?

No, Saxagliptin is not a steroid. It does not show any steroidal properties or structure. Saxagliptin belongs to a class of diabetes medication known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. DPP-4 being an enzyme, breaks down incretin hormones. These incretins increase the level of insulin in the blood. This insulin controls the level of glucose in our blood.

Consult our experts at Yashoda Hospitals to know more about the uses, dosages and precautions, and the side effects of Saxagliptin.



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      Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.