Onglyza (saxagliptin) is a brand-name oral tablet for treating type 2 diabetes in adults. Onglyza is discontinued, but a generic version called saxagliptin is available. It’s typically taken once per day. The dosage can vary depending on your blood sugar level.

Onglyza belongs to a drug class called dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitors.

Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Onglyza, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Onglyza, including details about its uses, see this article.

Note: This article describes typical dosages for Onglyza provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking any prescription medication, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Onglyza is discontinued. The removal of Onglyza from the market was a business decision by the manufacturer and not due to concerns regarding the drug’s safety or effectiveness.

While Onglyza is no longer prescribed by healthcare professionals, a generic version called saxagliptin is available that works like the brand-name version. The information on Onglyza in this article also applies to saxagliptin.

For more information about saxagliptin, see the drug’s prescribing information.

The information below describes typical Onglyza dosages and other details about the drug.

Onglyza form

Onglyza comes as an oral tablet.

Onglyza strengths

Onglyza tablets come in two strengths: 2.5 milligrams (mg) and 5 mg.

Typical dosages

Typically, your doctor will have you take a low dosage at the start of treatment. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

The recommended dosage of Onglyza for type 2 diabetes in adults is 2.5 mg or 5 mg once per day. For this use, Onglyza is meant to be taken as part of a treatment plan that includes a balanced diet and exercise. The maximum dosage is 5 mg once per day.

Long-term treatment

Onglyza is meant to be taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Onglyza is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your Onglyza dosage.

Below are some common questions about Onglyza’s dosing.

If I take Onglyza with metformin, does my dosage of Onglyza need to be adjusted?

If you take Onglyza with metformin (Glumetza), your doctor may need to adjust your Onglyza dosage. Similar to Onglyza, metformin works to lower blood sugar levels. So taking Onglyza with metformin increases the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).*

If your doctor recommends that you take both drugs, they’ll likely start you on a low dosage of Onglyza. Doing so can help reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.

Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar during treatment. They’ll use this information to determine the Onglyza dosage that’s right for you.

If you have questions about your Onglyza dosage, talk with your doctor. You can also refer to the “Onglyza dosage” section just above.

* Hypoglycemia is a possible side effect with either drug alone or combined. To learn about Onglyza’s side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. To learn about metformin’s side effects, see this article.

What is the recommended dosage of Onglyza for older adults?

The recommended dosage of Onglyza for older adults (ages 65 years and older) is typically the same as the dosage for younger adults. Clinical trials showed that there was no difference in the drug’s safety or effectiveness in these age groups.

However, your doctor may recommend a lower Onglyza dosage, depending on certain factors. These include whether you have other medical conditions besides type 2 diabetes, such as kidney disease. To learn more, see the “Factors that can affect your dosage” section just below.

The Onglyza dosage your doctor recommends will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re taking the drug to treat
  • other medications you’re taking
  • whether you have other medical conditions

Dosage adjustments

If you have moderate or severe kidney disease, your doctor may recommend a lower dosage of Onglyza.

Onglyza comes as an oral tablet that you’ll swallow. You can take your dose with or without food. Do not crush or split Onglyza tablets. You should always follow the dosing instructions given to you by your doctor.

It may be helpful to take the drug around the same time of day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so it can work effectively.

If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.


Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting your medication in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Then, take your next dose at the typical time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for the missed dose.

If you’re unsure whether to take or skip a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

It’s important that you do not take more Onglyza than your doctor recommends. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to side effects or overdose.

If you take more than the recommended amount of Onglyza

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Onglyza. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

The dosages for Onglyza in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. Because Onglyza is discontinued, your doctor may prescribe its generic, saxagliptin, instead. If your doctor recommends saxagliptin for you, they’ll start you on the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

Never change your dosage without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Onglyza. These additional articles might be helpful:

  • More about Onglyza. For information about other aspects of Onglyza, refer to this article.
  • Details about your condition. For details about type 2 diabetes, see our diabetes hub.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.