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Saxagliptin/Metformin Hydrochloride

Komboglyze is a treatment for type-2 diabetes, made by Bristol Myers Squibb. It is a combined tablet which works by helping the body to manage glucose levels.

Please note that this treatment is not available to buy from our pharmacy.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

31 August 2020
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 31 August 2020
Product information

Komboglyze is a treatment for type-2 diabetes which contains two active ingredients: saxagliptin and metformin. It is issued as a tablet, which is usually taken twice a day with food. These agents work by helping the body to make better use of insulin, thereby reducing the amount of sugar in the blood. Komboglyze is made by BMS (Bristol Myers Squibb) and is only available to buy in the UK with a GP prescription.

  1. Two a day pill
  2. Helps get blood sugar under control
  3. Crucial part of a diabetes management programme

Out of the 3 million people the NHS estimates to be affected by diabetes in the UK, around 90 per cent of these are thought to fall into the type-2 category. Unlike type-1 diabetes, which is characterised by an inability of the pancreas to produce insulin, those with type-2 will generate insulin but not enough to be effective in managing blood sugar levels.

Among the more common symptoms of type-2 diabetes are dryness in the eyes, which can cause sight problems, general feelings of tiredness, and an increased need to urinate. The condition is a progressive one, and can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Persistently high blood sugar levels can result in damage to the blood vessels, nerves, and organs. Over time, possible complications of type-2 diabetes may include kidney failure, heart disease and nerve damage.

There is no one specific cause of type-2 diabetes, but poor lifestyle habits, such as eating a high amount of sugary foods, an unhealthy diet, and a lack of exercise are generally considered as being contributing offenders. Certain people are more at risk of developing the condition than others, such as those who are over the age of 40, or are overweight or obese. Peoples from South Asian or Chinese ethnic backgrounds are also more susceptible, as are those who are of Black African or Caribbean descent.

Perhaps the first port of call for a doctor in treating the condition is to address the patient’s lifestyle. If not already in place, they will likely suggest implementing a specific diet and exercise regimen. Those who are unable to adequately bring down blood sugar levels via these means will usually be issued prescription medication.

One such treatment is Komboglyze, which as a combination of two drugs, might be suggested in those cases where a single-agent medication has not provided sufficient results. The two constituents of the drug are metformin and saxagliptin, which are a biguanide and a DPP-4 inhibitor, respectively.

Metformin tackles high blood sugar in three ways. Firstly, it reduces the amount of sugar produced by the liver. Secondly, it increases the receptiveness of cells in the body to insulin, allowing for the easier extraction of glucose from the blood. Finally, it slows down the assimilation of sugars from food in the digestive tract.

The function of saxagliptin is slightly different. It prevents the action of an enzyme which dismantles incretin hormones. These hormones help the pancreas to produce more insulin, which manages blood sugar levels. By inhibiting this enzyme then, the medicine helps to stimulate insulin production. Saxagliptin also facilitates the activity of a chemical which helps to reduce sugar production by the liver.

Komboglyze is not provided through our online service. To be prescribed this item, we recommend you see your GP in person.

Page last reviewed:  31/08/2020


It is crucial that you follow the directions issued by your prescriber when taking this medication. Doing so will help to optimise the efficacy of the treatment. You should also familiarise yourself with the instructions in the patient information leaflet before use, in order to keep the risk of side effects to a minimum.

  1. Take as prescribed.
  2. In most instances, the dose is one tablet twice a day.
  3. Take your tablet with food, to reduce the likelihood of digestion problems.
  4. Space your doses out accordingly. It may be useful to take one with breakfast and one with your evening meal.
  5. Follow the diet and exercise plan issued to you by your doctor or specialist when using this treatment.
  6. Never take more than the amount prescribed.
  7. If you miss a dose, take it when you remember if you can. If your next dose is due, skip the one you have missed and carry on the treatment as normal. Do not take double the amount at once to compensate.

The above is supplied only as a guideline, and does not form a complete list of the instructions you will need to follow. For more detailed directions, refer to the leaflet supplied with the product.

Download PDF

Page last reviewed:  31/08/2020
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

If you experience any signs of the following, let your doctor know as soon as possible: an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, lips, mouth or tongue, or hives; lactic acidosis, such as feeling cold or uncomfortable, feeling or being sick, stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, muscle cramps, or rapid breathing; or an inflamed pancreas, such as severe and persistent pain in the abdomen which might reach through to your back.

Very common (1 in 10 people or more):

Diarrhoea, loss of appetite, feeling or being sick.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):

Metallic taste in the mouth, dizziness, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, indigestion, urinary tract infection, inflamed nose or throat, gastritis, flatulence, or sinusitis.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):

Joint pain, impotence.

Very rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):

Fall in vitamin B12 levels, hepatitis, redness of the skin or itching.

Some of the side effects listed above are associated only with the use of saxagliptin or metformin alone, and may not necessarily have been recorded with the use of this specific product. For further details on side effects, consult the leaflet supplied.

Taking it with other medicines

Let your prescriber know if you are taking any other treatments, as some, such as the following may cause interactions: cimetidine; ketoconazole; bronchodilators; water tablets; diltiazem; rifampicin; corticosteroids; carbamazepine, phenobarbital or phenytoin; or any medications containing alcohol.

Conditions to look out for

Some conditions may become exacerbated by the use of this treatment, and the presence of others may necessitate the use of special precautions when taking it. Do not use this treatment if you: have had a serious allergic reaction to this or any other similar medications in the past; have ever had a diabetic coma; have a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis; have problems with your kidneys or liver; have recently had a heart attack or if you have heart failure or serious problems with your circulation; have a severe infection or are dehydrated; drink a large amount of alcohol either regularly or occasionally; are going to have an X-ray where you will be injected with a dye.

It may also not be suitable for those who: have type 1 diabetes; have or have had a disease of the pancreas; are taking insulin or an antidiabetic medicine known as sulphonylurea; have a weakened immune system; or are going to have an operation under anaesthetic.

Regular check-ups

While you are taking this medicine, your doctor will need to monitor your kidney function regularly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Do not use Komboglyze and speak to your doctor for advice if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.

Driving and using machinery

This treatment alone is not likely to affect your ability to drive or use machines. However, there is a risk of hypoglycaemia when this medication is taken in combination with other medicines such as insulin and sulphonylureas.

Do not drive or use machines if you experience any effects which may affect your concentration.

Food, drink and alcohol

Consuming large amounts of alcohol may heighten the risk of lactic acidosis, and should therefore be avoided.

Taking this medication with a meal will lower the risk of stomach upset.

Lactic acidosis

Refer to the leaflet supplied for more information on lactic acidosis.

Page last reviewed:  31/08/2020
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:


Can I still drink alcohol?

When taking this medication you should avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, as it may increase the risk of a harmful reaction.

Will I still be able to drive?

Yes, if you experience no side effects which may make doing so unsafe. If you feel as though your ability to drive has become compromised, you should refrain from driving and inform your doctor.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

It should not be taken by those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor about alternative forms of treatment in these cases.

How should I store it?

In a safe environment below 25°C.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

These tablets contain: saxagliptin, metformin hydrochloride, povidone K30, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl alcohol, macrogol 3350, titanium dioxide (E171), talc (E553b), iron oxide yellow (E172), shellac, and indigo carmine aluminium lake (E132).

Do not take this treatment if you are allergic to any of the above ingredients.

Is it available over-the-counter?

You will need a prescription in order to buy Komboglyze online or in person. 

Is it right for me?

The diabetes medicine you use will be decided upon by your doctor during your periodic diabetes review. They will initiate a prescription for the medication which is most suitable.

We do not sell this medicine on our site. See your GP to renew your prescription for this treatment.

Page last reviewed:  31/08/2020
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