The combination drug Kombiglyze XR is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works to lower blood sugar levels and keep them under better control. The medicine comes in tablet form and is generally taken once a day. Most people tolerate it well, but side effects are possible. Common ones include infections, headaches, and diarrhea.
Kombiglyze XR is made by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and is marketed by BMS and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.
How Does It Work?
Kombiglyze XR contains two different kinds of diabetes medication. Saxagliptin is part of a class of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. DPP-4 is an enzyme that breaks down incretin hormones.
As a DPP-4 inhibitor, saxagliptin slows down the breakdown of incretin hormones, increasing the level of these hormones in the body. It is this increase that is responsible for the beneficial actions of saxagliptin, including increasing insulin production in response to meals and decreasing the amount of glucose (sugar) that the liver produces.
Because incretin hormones are more active in response to higher blood sugar levels and are less active in response to low blood sugar, the risk of dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is low with saxagliptin.
Kombiglyze XR also contains metformin, a biguanide medication. Metformin works in several ways. It decreases the amount of sugar the liver makes. Metformin can also decrease the amount of sugar absorbed into the body from the diet and can make insulin receptors more sensitive, helping the body respond to its own insulin better. All of these effects cause a decrease in blood sugar levels and better control.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed January 6, 2011.
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