Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Saxagliptin launched

Saxagliptin (Onglyza®) has been launched for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Saxagliptin is a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor in the same class as sitagliptin and vildagliptin.

The summary of product characteristics is available and indicates that saxagliptin is licensed for combination use with metformin or a sulphonylurea or a glitazone in patients who fail to achieve adequate glycaemic control on monotherapy with these agents. It is available as a 5mg tablet with a recommended dose of one tablet each day. This license is more restrictive than the current license for sitagliptin. Safety and efficacy of this product as part of triple therapy has not been established and is therefore not recommended.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recently issued an update to the type 2 diabetes clinical guideline includes a recommendation for the place in therapy for DPP-4 inhibitors. These recommendations should be equally applied to this new agent.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this new drug launch. Where a gliptin is felt to be clinically appropriate it would be sensible to use sitagliptin based on the wider product licence.

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