Generic Name: dapagliflozin and saxagliptin (DAP a gli FLOE zin and SAX a GLIP tin)
Brand Names: Qtern
What is Qtern?
Qtern contains a combination of dapagliflozin and saxagliptin. Dapagliflozin and saxagliptin are oral diabetes medicines that help control blood sugar levels. Dapagliflozin works by helping the kidneys get rid of glucose from your bloodstream. Saxagliptin works by regulating the levels of insulin your body produces after eating.
Qtern is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Qtern is also used to lower the risk of death from heart attack, stroke, or heart failure in adults with type 2 diabetes who also have heart disease.
This medicine is not for treating type 1 diabetes.
You should not use Qtern if you have severe kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis), or diabetic ketoacidosis.
Call your doctor at once if you have signs of a serious side effect, such as severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, vomiting, fast heart rate, dizziness, feeling very thirsty or hot, decreased urination, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Qtern if you are allergic to dapagliflozin and saxagliptin, or if you have:
severe kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
a history of severe allergic or skin reaction after taking saxagliptin; or
diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
To make sure Qtern is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a pancreas disorder;
low blood pressure;
high cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
a history of alcoholism;
a history of genital infection (penis or vagina);
if you are on a low salt diet; or
if you are 65 or older.
It is not known whether Qtern will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether dapagliflozin and saxagliptin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take Qtern?
Take Qtern exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Qtern is usually taken in the morning. You may take this medicine with or without food.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may also need to test the level of ketones your urine. Dapagliflozin can cause life-threatening ketoacidosis (too much acid in the blood). Even if your blood sugar is normal, contact your doctor if a urine test shows that you have ketones in the urine.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or 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 can cause unusual results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Qtern.
Store Qtern at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Qtern dosing information
Usual Adult Dose of Qtern for Diabetes Type 2:
Dapagliflozin 10 mg/saxagliptin 5 mg orally once a day in the morning
-Volume depletion should be corrected prior to initiation.
-This combination product should only be used in patients who tolerate dapagliflozin 10 mg per day.
Use: As an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus who have inadequate control with dapagliflozin or who are already treated with Qtern.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Qtern can cause life threatening hypoglycemia.
Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia include extreme weakness, confusion, tremors, sweating, fast heart rate, trouble speaking, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, fainting, and seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking Qtern?
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
Qtern side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Qtern: hives, itching, flaking or peeling skin; trouble swallowing, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking Qtern and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe or ongoing pain in your joints;
serious skin reaction - itching, blisters, breakdown of the outer layer of skin;
ketoacidosis (too much acid in the blood) - nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, confusion, unusual drowsiness, or trouble breathing;
pancreatitis - severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
dehydration symptoms - dizziness, weakness, or light-headed feeling (like you might pass out);
signs of a bladder infection - pain or burning when you urinate, urine that looks cloudy, pain in pelvis or back; or
signs of a genital infection (penis or vagina) - pain, burning, itching, rash, redness, odor, or discharge.
Common Qtern side effects may include:
abnormal blood levels of cholesterol or triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood); or
runny nose, stuffy nose, sinus pain.
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 Qtern?
Other drugs may increase or decrease the effects of Qtern on lowering your blood sugar. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Qtern.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Qtern only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2017 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01.
Date modified: June 12, 2017
Last reviewed: April 28, 2017