Diabetes Home > Onglyza Uses

Onglyza is licensed to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. By slowing down the breakdown of incretin hormones, this medication increases insulin production in response to meals and decreases the amount of glucose that the liver produces. There are currently no approved uses of Onglyza for children.

What Is Onglyza Used For?

Onglyza (saxagliptin) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Onglyza should be used in combination with appropriate changes in diet and exercise to help control blood sugar.

Using Onglyza for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which body cells do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the body cells do not take sugar out of the blood very well. This is why people with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar.
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to a number of problems, including diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease (see Diabetes Complications). The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role in the condition.
Any type 2 diabetes treatment begins with lifestyle changes (weight loss, a diabetic diet, and exercise). If lifestyle changes are not effective at managing diabetes, diabetes medications (such as Onglyza) may be necessary. Some diabetes drugs force the pancreas to produce more insulin regardless of blood sugar levels. These medications are effective but can cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Because of the way Onglyza works, it is far less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar (compared with some other diabetes medications).
In some people, Onglyza may need to be combined with other diabetes medicines. Onglyza has been studied in combination with a wide variety of different diabetes medications. However, it has not been studied in combination with insulin.
(Click Diabetic Diet and Diabetes and Exercise to learn about controlling diabetes through lifestyle choices.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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