Medically reviewed on May 3, 2018
What is metformin and saxagliptin?
Metformin and saxagliptin are oral diabetes medicines that help control blood sugar levels.
Metformin works by decreasing glucose (sugar) production in the liver and decreasing absorption of glucose by the intestines. Saxagliptin works by regulating the levels of insulin your body produces after eating.
Metformin and saxagliptin is a combination medicine that is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This medicine is not for treating type 1 diabetes.
Metformin and saxagliptin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medicine if you have severe kidney disease or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).
You may develop lactic acidosis, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in your blood. Call your doctor or get emergency medical help if you have unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain, dizziness, feeling cold, or feeling very weak or tired.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to metformin or saxagliptin (Onglyza), or if you have severe kidney disease or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
kidney disease (your kidney function may need to be checked before you take this medicine);
high triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
You may develop lactic acidosis, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in your blood. This may be more likely if you have other medical conditions, a severe infection, chronic alcoholism, or if you are 65 or older. Ask your doctor about your risk.
If you need to have surgery or any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, you will need to temporarily stop taking metformin and saxagliptin. Be sure your caregivers know ahead of time that you are using this medication.
Follow your doctor's instructions about using this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby. Blood sugar control is very important during pregnancy, and your dose needs may be different during each trimester of pregnancy. Your dose needs may also be different while you are breast-feeding.
Metformin may stimulate ovulation in a premenopausal woman and may increase the risk of unintended pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about your risk.
This medicine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take metformin and saxagliptin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take metformin and saxagliptin with food.
Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, and feeling shaky. To quickly treat low blood sugar, always keep a fast-acting source of sugar with you such as fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, or non-diet soda.
Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit to use in case you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink. Be sure your family and close friends know how to give you this injection in an emergency.
Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst or urination, blurred vision, headache, and tiredness.
Blood sugar levels can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals. Ask your doctor before changing your dose or medication schedule.
This medicine is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, regular blood sugar testing, and special medical care. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine (with food) as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. You may have severely low blood sugar (extreme weakness, nausea, tremors, sweating, confusion, trouble speaking, fast heartbeats, or seizure).
What should I avoid while taking metformin and saxagliptin?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may increase your risk of lactic acidosis.
Metformin and saxagliptin side effects
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of pancreatitis: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, or fast heartbeats.
Some people using metformin develop lactic acidosis, which can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as:
unusual muscle pain;
feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or very weak;
stomach pain, vomiting; or
irregular heart rate.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
severe autoimmune reaction--itching, blisters, breakdown of the outer layer of skin;
severe or ongoing pain in your joints;
pain or burning when you urinate; or
symptoms of heart failure--shortness of breath (even while lying down), swelling in your legs or feet, rapid weight gain.
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect metformin and saxagliptin?
Many drugs can affect metformin and saxagliptin, making this medicine less effective or increasing your risk of lactic acidosis.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
an antibiotic or antifungal medicine;
insulin or oral diabetes medicine; or
medicine to treat HIV or AIDS.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect metformin and saxagliptin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.05.
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