How Onglyza Works

How once-daily Onglyza may help lower blood sugar spikes:

Why your blood sugar goes up after you eat
Your digestive system breaks down food into sugar (glucose). This increases signals, called incretins. Incretins tell the pancreas to release insulin in response to food.
When you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas doesn't release enough insulin or your body's cells may not use insulin properly. This can cause your blood sugar level to spike too high after meals.
How once-daily Onglyza works
Onglyza (saxagliptin) works by enhancing your natural ability to control blood sugar by helping the body increase the level of insulin after meals. This may result in lower after-meal blood sugar spikes.
Why your blood sugar goes up when you are sleeping
A different signal from your pancreas, called glucagon, tells your liver to release an appropriate amount of sugar into the bloodstream when you are sleeping and between meals.
When you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas releases too much glucagon. This makes your liver release too much sugar, and your blood sugar level can rise, even when you are sleeping.
How once-daily Onglyza works
Onglyza (saxagliptin) works by reducing the amount of sugar released by your liver overnight and between meals. This may result in lower blood sugar in the morning and between meals.

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for ONGLYZA (saxagliptin)

Do not take ONGLYZA (saxagliptin) if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Serious allergic reactions can occur with ONGLYZA and may include swelling of the face, lips or throat, difficulty swallowing or breathing, swelling of the skin, hives, rash, itching, flaking, or peeling. If you have these symptoms, stop taking ONGLYZA and contact your doctor right away.

Serious side effects can happen to people taking ONGLYZA, including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) which may be severe and lead to death. Before taking ONGLYZA, tell your doctor if you ever had pancreatitis, gallstones, history of alcoholism, or high triglyceride levels. Stop taking ONGLYZA and contact your doctor right away if you have pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that is severe and will not go away. The pain may be felt going from your abdomen through to your back. The pain may happen with or without vomiting. These may be symptoms of pancreatitis.


ONGLYZA (saxagliptin) is a prescription medicine used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.

ONGLYZA should not be used to treat people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis (increased ketones in the blood or urine).

If you have had inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), it is not known if you have a higher chance of getting pancreatitis while taking ONGLYZA.

When ONGLYZA is used with certain other diabetes medicines to treat high blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea or insulin, the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is higher. Symptoms of low blood sugar include shaking, hunger, sweating, headache, rapid heartbeat, change in mood, and change in vision. Follow your doctor’s instructions for treating low blood sugar.

When ONGLYZA is used with a thiazolidinedione (TZD), such as pioglitazone or rosiglitazone, to treat high blood sugar, peripheral edema (fluid retention) may become worse. If you have symptoms of peripheral edema, such as swelling of hands, feet, or ankles, call your doctor.

The most common side effects with ONGLYZA include upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, and headache.

Your doctor should test your blood to measure how well your kidneys are working before and during treatment with ONGLYZA. You may need a lower dose if your kidneys are not working well.

Tell your doctor if you start or stop taking other medications, including antibiotics, antifungals or HIV/AIDS medications, as your doctor may need to change your dose of ONGLYZA.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or plan to become pregnant or breast-feed.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please click here for Medication Guide, and click here for US Full Prescribing Information for ONGLYZA (saxagliptin).

This product information is intended for US customers only.

©2013 AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.

ONGLYZA is a registered trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.

1806603‐3013604 Last updated 06/13

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