There's a new kid on the block in the Diabetes neighborhood. This past July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Onglyza, an oral medication taken once a day to treat Type 2 Diabetes. When combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, Onglyza helps to control blood sugar levels.
Onglyza, which goes by the generic name of saxagliptin, is one of a class of drugs known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. DPP inhibitors prevent GLP-1, a substance in the body that decreases blood glucose levels, from breaking down quickly. By doing so, DPP-4 inhibitors enable GLP-1 to remain in the body longer and lower blood glucose levels when they are elevated. The other DPP-4 inhibitor currently on the market in the U.S is Januvia.
Onglyza is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and marketed by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. It is available in 2.5 and 5 milligram doses.
Side effects may include upper respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, headache and allergic reactions such as rash or hives.
Onglyza was approved based on results from eight clinical studies. The drug has not been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in low-risk patients, but the FDA has ordered additional research to assess the drug's safety among high-risk patients - the elderly and those with existing heart problems.
According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 23.6 million adults and children have Diabetes, of which the overwhelming majority have Type 2 Diabetes. In Type 2 Diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or does not process it correctly. If you have Type 2 Diabetes and it cannot be controlled by implementing lifestyle changes such as losing weight and exercising, speak to your doctor about this or other available medications to help you take control of the disease before it causes irreversible damage to your body.