Onglyza is a medication used to treat type-2 diabetes, and works by limiting the effect of enzymes which counteract the production of insulin. It is a once a day tablet, and is designed to be used alongside a controlled diet and exercise programme to help reduce blood sugar. AstraZeneca are the manufacturers of Onglyza, which is available to buy in the UK in two separate doses: 2.5 and 5mg. The dose you are issued will depend on your blood sugar levels, and whether or not you are currently using other prescription medicine.
- Helps to regulate blood sugar
- Taken in addition to a diet and exercise regime
- Basic one a day tablet
Diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels rise to a point which may, over time, cause significant damage to the nervous system, organs or blood vessels. There are several different types, but the most common is type-2 diabetes. This version may not develop until a person has reached their 40s, unlike type-1 diabetes which typically becomes apparent during a person’s formative years.
Initially, the condition will only present mild, non-specific and often unnoticeable symptoms such as tiredness, an increased need to pass urine, and a feeling of dryness in the eyes, potentially causing sight problems. However, left untreated, complications may result and, in severe cases, lead to heart disease or organ failure.
Several diet and lifestyle factors can increase a person’s chances of getting type-2 diabetes. These include eating a poor or unhealthy diet, being overweight or obese, and not getting enough exercise. As well as being more prevalent in those over the age of 40, it is also more likely to affect people of South Asian or Chinese, or Black African or Caribbean ethnicity.
The condition is a progressive one, which makes seeking diagnosis and treatment if you think you have it crucial. One of the first measures a doctor will take to help the patient get their blood sugar levels under control will be to introduce a healthier eating regimen. They may also suggest a programme of light exercise.
However, those who are not able to bring their blood sugar levels down to normalcy through these means alone may need to be issued prescription medication. One such option is Onglyza, which is a type of drug called a DPP-4 inhibitor. It may be administered in addition to other forms of treatment, such as biguanides or insulin, but it can also be used as a sole medication in some cases.
Saxagliptin is the name of the functioning constituent, which works by stopping the enzymatic breakdown of glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucose insulinotropic peptide, otherwise known as GLP-1 and GIP respectively. Both of these hormones stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin after the consumption of food; while GLP-1 also helps to limit the production of sugar by the liver. In preserving the presence of the hormones, the drug thereby assists in the production of insulin and management of blood sugar levels.
We do not currently sell this medication on our site. To be prescribed Onglyza or renew your prescription, we recommend you make an appointment with your doctor or diabetes nurse.
Prior to using this product, you should familiarise yourself with the guidelines in the patient information leaflet. Using the treatment correctly will make you less likely to experience side effects. Make sure that you keep to the directions issued by your prescriber, so that the medication can work at its most efficient.
- Use as directed.
- The most typical dose is one tablet a day.
- Swallow whole with water.
- It doesn’t need to be taken with food and can be taken at any time of day. But it is advisable to identify a specific time where you will be able to take it each day, so that you are not as likely to forget your dose.
- Do not exceed the dose prescribed for you.
- Never make up for a missed dose with a double dose. If you forget, take it when you remember. However, if your next dose is due, you should skip the one you have missed and simply take your next dose at the scheduled time.
The above forms only a summary of the directions you will need to adhere to when using this item. Refer to the leaflet for more detailed directions, and if you need further advice, ask your prescriber.
If you think you are experiencing any of the following, let your doctor know right away: an allergic reaction, which may include signs such as a rash, hives, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat; or pancreatitis, which may be characterised by severe, persistent pain in the abdomen which might travel to your back, accompanied by symptoms such as feeling or being sick.
Some of the following side effects have been recorded in cases where Onglyza has been used in conjunction with other treatments, and may not necessarily occur through sole use.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Infection of the upper chest or lungs, infection of the urinary tract, gastroenteritis, sinusitis, dizziness, tiredness, stomach ache, flatulence, inflamed nose or throat, headache, muscle pain (myalgia), feeling or being sick, inflammation of the stomach, or indigestion.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Joint pain, or erectile dysfunction.
Hypoglycemia was also reported in some taking this treatment alongside sulphonylurea.
The above does form a complete list of the side effects associated with this treatment. A more detailed account can be located in the leaflet supplied.
Taking it with other medicines
Disclose any information relating to other medications you are currently using to your prescriber when completing our health assessment. This product may interact with: carbamazepine, phenobarbital or phenytoin; dexamethasone; rifampicin, ketoconazole; or diltiazem.
Conditions to look out for
It may require special administration by, or not be suitable at all for those who: are taking insulin; have type 1 diabetes; have diabetic ketoacidosis; have a disease of the pancreas; are taking sulphonylurea; are lactose intolerant; have a condition that reduces your defence against infections, such as AIDS; have or have had heart failure; have moderate to severe liver or kidney problems; or have haemodialysis.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This medication should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor for more guidance if this applies to you, or if you are planning on becoming pregnant.
Driving and using machinery
If you become dizzy or experience any effects which may inhibit your concentration, do not drive or use machines.
This treatment contains lactose. Let your prescriber know if you have any intolerances to sugar.
Can I still drink alcohol?
It is not recommended that you drink alcohol if you have high blood sugar.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes, provided you encounter no side effects which may make doing so dangerous or unsafe. If you do, avoid driving and speak to your doctor right away.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
It is not suitable for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant.
How should I store it?
Keep it in a safe place below 25°C.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
In these tablets are the following ingredients: saxagliptin hydrochloride, lactose monohydrate, cellulose, microcrystalline (E460i), croscarmellose sodium (E468), magnesium stearate, polyvinyl alcohol, macrogol 3350, titanium dioxide (E171), talc (E553b), iron oxide red (E172), iron oxide yellow (E172), shellac and indigo carmine aluminium lake (E132).
Do not take these tablets if you are allergic to any of the above substances.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You can only buy Onglyza with a prescription. This is so that a doctor can ensure it is suitable for you to use.
Is it right for me?
A prescription for your treatment will be initiated by your GP or specialist during your diabetes review.
Onglyza is not available to purchase through our site. Refer to your GP if you are looking to get your prescription repeated.
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