Diabetes Home > Onglyza Alternatives

Although most people tend to respond well to Onglyza, certain people may need to try another option if their blood sugar levels are not adequately controlled. Other treatments for type 2 diabetes may include lifestyle changes, insulin, or other diabetes medicines. Some of the medication alternatives to Onglyza include sulfonylureas, biguanides, and meglitinides.

Alternatives to Onglyza Explained

Onglyza® (saxagliptin) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is part of a group of diabetes medicines called dipeptidyl peptidase inhibitors.
For most people, Onglyza is effective in treating their diabetes (and most people tolerate it well). However, as with all medicines, side effects can occur or the medicine may not completely control their diabetes. Fortunately, there are several Onglyza alternatives for type 2 diabetes.
Some of these alternatives include:

Oral Diabetes Medicines

Fortunately, there are many other different types of oral diabetes drugs available to treat type 2 diabetes, including:
  • Other dipeptidyl peptidase inhibitors
  • Sulfonylureas
  • Biguanides
  • Meglitinides
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Alpha glucosidase inhibitors
  • Dipeptidyl peptidase inhibitors
  • Ergot alkaloids
  • Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2 inhibitors)
  • Bile acid sequestrants
  • Combination medications.
Other Dipeptidyl Peptidase Inhibitors
Onglyza is part of a class of diabetes medication called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. DPP-4 is an enzyme that breaks down incretin hormones.
As a DPP-4 inhibitor, Onglyza slows down the breakdown of incretin hormones, increasing the level of these hormones in the body. It is this increase in incretin hormones that is responsible for the beneficial actions of Onglyza, including increasing insulin production in response to meals and decreasing the amount of glucose (sugar) that the liver produces.
There are three other medications closely related to Onglyza. These medications are named sitagliptin (Januvia®), linagliptin (Tradjenta®), and alogliptin (Nesina®). All of these can be used in combination with many other diabetes medications, and all are relatively unlikely to cause dangerously low blood sugar.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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