Onglyza (saxagliptin) for Diabetes Treatment
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
- What is Onglyza (saxagliptin)?
- How is Onglyza (saxagliptin) prescribed?
- What are the possible complications and drug interactions with Onglyza (saxagliptin)?
- What are the side effects of Onglyza (saxagliptin)?
What is Onglyza (saxagliptin)?
Onglyza (saxagliptin) is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor and is similar to Januvia (sitagliptin). DPP-4 inhibitors inhibit the breakdown of incretin hormones [glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP)]. Incretin hormones are released from the small intestine into the blood stream after meals. Incretin hormones cause pancreatic beta cells to release insulin and reduce glucagon secretion in response to glucose.
Increased insulin concentration reduces blood glucose by several mechanisms while reduced glucagon concentrations reduce production of glucose by the liver. Individuals with type-2 diabetes have reduced GLP-1 levels but respond to the action of GLP-1. DPP-4 is an enzyme that quickly inhibits the action of incretin hormones. Onglyza (saxagliptin) slows the action of DPP-4, increasing the concentration of incretin hormones in the bloodstream, resulting in reduced blood glucose levels.
In one study, Onglyza (saxagliptin) 2.5 mg and 5 mg administered alone for 24 weeks to diabetic patients reduced fasting blood glucose by 15 and 9 mg/dl respectively. In the same study, fasting glucose increased by 6 mg/dl in the placebo group. The change in hemoglobin A1c was -0.4%, -0.5%, and +2% in the 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and placebo groups respectively.
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