Skip to Content

Saxagliptin

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 11, 2020.

Pronunciation

(sax a GLIP tin)

Index Terms

  • BMS-477118
  • Saxagliptin HCl

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Tablet, Oral:

Onglyza: 2.5 mg, 5 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Onglyza

Pharmacologic Category

  • Antidiabetic Agent, Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 (DPP-4) Inhibitor

Pharmacology

Saxagliptin inhibits dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) enzyme resulting in prolonged active incretin levels. Incretin hormones (eg, glucagon-like peptide-1, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) regulate glucose homeostasis by increasing insulin synthesis and release from pancreatic beta cells and decreasing glucagon secretion from pancreatic alpha cells. Decreased glucagon secretion results in decreased hepatic glucose production. Under normal physiologic circumstances, incretin hormones are released by the intestine throughout the day and levels are increased in response to a meal; incretin hormones are rapidly inactivated by the DPP-4 enzyme.

Metabolism

Hepatic via CYP3A4/5 to 5-hydroxy saxagliptin (active; ~50% potency of the parent compound)

Excretion

Urine (75%, 24% of the total dose as saxagliptin, 36% of the total dose as 5-hydroxy saxagliptin); feces (22%)

Time to Peak

Plasma: Saxagliptin: 2 hours; 5-hydroxy saxagliptin: 4 hours

Duration of Action

24 hours

Half-Life Elimination

Saxagliptin: 2.5 hours; 5-hydroxy saxagliptin: 3.1 hours

Protein Binding

Negligible

Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment

AUC was up to 2.1- and 4.5-fold higher in patients with moderate or severe renal impairment. Dosage adjustment is required. In patients with mild renal impairment, AUC for saxagliptin and its active metabolite were 20% and 70% higher, respectively, which is not considered significant.

Special Populations: Hepatic Function Impairment

Cmax and AUC were 8% and 77% higher, respectively, in patients with hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class A, B, and C). The corresponding Cmax and AUC of the active metabolite were 59% and 33% lower, respectively.

Use: Labeled Indications

Diabetes mellitus, type 2, treatment: As an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus as monotherapy or combination therapy.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity (eg, anaphylaxis, angioedema, exfoliative skin conditions) to saxagliptin or any component of the formulation

Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in US labeling): Hypersensitivity to another DPP-4 inhibitor; diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic coma/precoma, type 1 diabetes mellitus

Dosing: Adult

Note: Due to lack of additive glycemic benefit, use in combination with a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist should be avoided (ADA/EASD [Davies 2018]). May require a dose reduction of insulin and/or insulin secretagogues to avoid hypoglycemia.

Diabetes mellitus, type 2, treatment:

Note: May be used as an adjunctive agent or alternative monotherapy for patients who fail initial therapy with lifestyle intervention and metformin or cannot take metformin, particularly in patients close to glycemic goals when avoidance of hypoglycemia and/or weight gain is desirable; use is not associated with improvement in cardiovascular or renal outcomes and has been associated with an increased risk of heart failure hospitalization (AACE/ACE [Garber 2020]; ADA 2020; Scirica 2013).

Oral: 2.5 to 5 mg once daily.

Dosage adjustment for concomitant therapy: Significant drug interactions exist, requiring dose/frequency adjustment or avoidance. Consult drug interactions database for more information.

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Administration

Oral: May be administered without regard to meals. Swallow whole; do not split or cut tablets.

Dietary Considerations

Individualized medical nutrition therapy based on American Diabetes Association recommendations is an integral part of therapy.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); excursions permitted between 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F).

Drug Interactions

Abametapir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Alpha-Lipoic Acid: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Androgens: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors: Dipeptidyl Peptidase-IV Inhibitors may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors. Specifically, the risk of angioedema may be increased. Monitor therapy

Aprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Clofazimine: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Conivaptan: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

CYP3A4 Inducers (Strong): May decrease the serum concentration of SAXagliptin. Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Moderate): May increase the serum concentration of SAXagliptin. Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Strong): May increase the serum concentration of SAXagliptin. Management: Limit the saxagliptin dose to 2.5 mg daily when combined with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors. When using the saxagliptin combination products saxagliptin/dapagliflozin or saxagliptin/dapagliflozin/metformin, avoid use with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors. Consider therapy modification

Direct Acting Antiviral Agents (HCV): May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Duvelisib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Erdafitinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Fosaprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Fosnetupitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Fusidic Acid (Systemic): May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Guanethidine: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Hyperglycemia-Associated Agents: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents: Antidiabetic Agents may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy

Idelalisib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Insulins: Dipeptidyl Peptidase-IV Inhibitors may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Insulins. Management: Consider a decrease in insulin dose when initiating therapy with a dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitor and monitor patients for hypoglycemia. Consider therapy modification

Larotrectinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Maitake: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

MiFEPRIStone: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Minimize doses of CYP3A4 substrates, and monitor for increased concentrations/toxicity, during and 2 weeks following treatment with mifepristone. Avoid cyclosporine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, sirolimus, and tacrolimus. Consider therapy modification

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Netupitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Palbociclib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Pegvisomant: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Prothionamide: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Quinolones: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Quinolones may diminish the therapeutic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Specifically, if an agent is being used to treat diabetes, loss of blood sugar control may occur with quinolone use. Monitor therapy

Ritodrine: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Salicylates: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Simeprevir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Stiripentol: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Use of stiripentol with CYP3A4 substrates that are considered to have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided due to the increased risk for adverse effects and toxicity. Any CYP3A4 substrate used with stiripentol requires closer monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Sulfonylureas: Dipeptidyl Peptidase-IV Inhibitors may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Management: Consider a decrease in sulfonylurea dose when initiating therapy with a dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitor and monitor patients for hypoglycemia. Consider therapy modification

Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified.

1% to 10%:

Cardiovascular: Peripheral edema (4%)

Central nervous system: Headache (7%)

Endocrine & metabolic: Hypoglycemia (6%)

Genitourinary: Urinary tract infection (7%)

Hematologic & oncologic: Lymphocytopenia (2%)

Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitivity reaction (2%; including facial edema and urticaria)

Frequency not defined: Cardiovascular: Thrombocytopenia

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Acute pancreatitis, anaphylaxis, angioedema, bullous pemphigoid, exfoliative dermatitis, immune thrombocytopenia, increased creatine phosphokinase in blood specimen, increased serum creatinine, pancreatitis, rhabdomyolysis, severe arthralgia

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Arthralgia: Severe and disabling arthralgia has been reported with dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor use; onset may occur within one day to years after treatment initiation and may resolve with discontinuation of therapy. Some patients may experience a recurrence of symptoms if DPP-4 inhibitor therapy resumed.

• Bullous pemphigoid: DPP-4 inhibitor use has been associated with development of bullous pemphigoid; cases have typically resolved with topical or systemic immunosuppressive therapy and discontinuation of DPP-4 inhibitor therapy. Advise patients to report development of blisters or erosions. Discontinue therapy if bullous pemphigoid is suspected and consider referral to a dermatologist.

• Hematologic: Dose-related decrease in lymphocyte count has been observed; clinical significance is not known. Monitoring of lymphocyte counts may be warranted in patients with unusual or persistent infection.

• Hypersensitivity reactions: Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, angioedema, and exfoliative dermatologic reactions have been reported; discontinue if signs/symptoms of severe hypersensitivity reaction occur. Events have generally occurred within the first 3 months of therapy and may occur after the initial dose. Use with caution if patient has experienced angioedema with other DPP-4 inhibitor use.

• Pancreatitis: Cases of acute pancreatitis have been reported with use. Monitor for signs/symptoms of pancreatitis; discontinue use immediately if pancreatitis is suspected and initiate appropriate management. Use with caution in patients with a history of pancreatitis as it is not known if this population is at greater risk.

Disease-related concerns:

• Bariatric surgery:

– Altered absorption: Absorption may be altered given the anatomic and transit changes created by gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgery (Mechanick 2013; Melissas 2013).

– Glucagon-like peptide-1 exposure and therapeutic efficacy: Closely monitor for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis; gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy may increase endogenous secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (Korner 2009; Peterli 2012). A single-dose, placebo-controlled study evaluated short-term therapy (4 weeks) with sitagliptin in gastric bypass patients having persistent or recurrent type 2 diabetes and found it to be well tolerated and provided a small but significant reduction in postprandial blood glucose (Shah 2018).

• Heart failure: Heart failure (HF) that may require hospitalization has been reported in a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in patients with type 2 diabetes with a history of, or at risk for, cardiovascular events; risk was increased in patients with preexisting HF or renal impairment and during the first 12 months of therapy (Scirica 2013; Scirica 2014). A population-based retrospective study in an ambulatory setting with relatively lower baseline cardiovascular risk factors failed to demonstrate increased risk in patients on saxagliptin compared to other agents (eg, sitagliptin, pioglitazone, sulfonylureas, insulin) (Toh 2016). Monitor for signs and symptoms of HF during therapy and consider discontinuation if condition develops. In a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, saxagliptin has been determined to be an agent that may exacerbate underlying myocardial dysfunction (magnitude: major) (AHA [Page 2016]). The American Diabetes Association recommends avoiding use of saxagliptin in patients with HF (ADA 2020).

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with moderate to severe renal dysfunction (eGFR <45 mL/minute/1.73 m2) including end-stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis; dosing adjustment required.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: Not indicated for use in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus or with diabetic ketoacidosis.

• Patient education: Diabetes self-management education is essential to maximize the effectiveness of therapy.

Monitoring Parameters

Plasma glucose, HbA1c (at least twice yearly in patients who have stable glycemic control and are meeting treatment goals; quarterly in patients not meeting treatment goals or with therapy change [ADA 2020]), renal function (prior to initiation of therapy and periodically thereafter); lymphocyte counts (if unusual or persistent infection); signs/symptoms of pancreatitis and/or heart failure.

Pregnancy Considerations

Poorly controlled diabetes during pregnancy can be associated with an increased risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes, including diabetic ketoacidosis, preeclampsia, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, delivery complications, major birth defects, stillbirth, and macrosomia. To prevent adverse outcomes, prior to conception and throughout pregnancy, maternal blood glucose and HbA1c should be kept as close to target goals as possible but without causing significant hypoglycemia (ADA 2020; Blumer 2013).

Agents other than saxagliptin are currently recommended to treat diabetes mellitus in pregnancy (ADA 2020).

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to lower blood sugar in patients with high blood sugar (diabetes).

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

• Headache

• Common cold symptoms

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

• Urinary tract infection like blood in the urine, burning or painful urination, passing a lot of urine, fever, lower abdominal pain, or pelvic pain.

• Low blood sugar like dizziness, headache, fatigue, feeling weak, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, hunger, or sweating.

• Pancreatitis like severe abdominal pain, severe back pain, severe nausea, or vomiting.

• Heart problems like cough or shortness of breath that is new or worse, swelling of the ankles or legs, abnormal heartbeat, weight gain of more than five pounds in 24 hours, dizziness, or passing out.

• Trouble swallowing

• Skin blisters

• Skin breakdown

• Persistent joint pain

• Severe joint pain

• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine's uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions