Your doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks that you take this medicine. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Let your doctor or dentist know you are taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to temporarily stop taking this medicine before you have major surgery or diagnostic tests including procedures that use contrast dye.
Under certain conditions, too much metformin can cause lactic acidosis. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are severe and quick to appear, and usually occur when other health problems not related to the medicine are present and are very severe, such as a heart attack or kidney failure. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include: abdominal or stomach discomfort; decreased appetite; diarrhea; fast or shallow breathing; a general feeling of discomfort; muscle pain or cramping; and unusual sleepiness, tiredness, or weakness.
If symptoms of lactic acidosis occur, you should get immediate emergency medical help.
Pancreatitis (swelling and inflammation of the pancreas) may occur while you are using this medicine. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, or lightheadedness.
This medicine may cause serious types of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema. These conditions may be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; a large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs; trouble with breathing; or chest tightness while you are using this medicine.
It is very important to carefully follow any instructions from your health care team about:
- Alcohol—Drinking alcohol may cause severe low blood sugar. Discuss this with your health care team.
- Other medicines—Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes nonprescription medicines such as aspirin, and medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems.
- Counseling—Other family members need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Also, patients with diabetes may need special counseling about diabetes medicine dosing changes that might occur with lifestyle changes, such as changes in exercise or diet. Furthermore, counseling on contraception and pregnancy may be needed, because of the problems that can occur in patients with diabetes during pregnancy.
- Travel—Keep a recent prescription and your medical history with you. Be prepared for an emergency as you would normally. Make allowances for changing time zones and keep your meal times as close as possible to your usual meal times.
- In case of emergency—There may be a time when you need emergency help for a problem caused by your diabetes. You need to be prepared for these emergencies. It is a good idea to wear a medical identification (ID) bracelet or neck chain at all times. Also, carry an ID card in your wallet or purse that says you have diabetes and that lists all of your medicines.
Saxagliptin and metformin combination can cause low blood sugar. However, this can also occur if you delay or miss a meal or snack, drink alcohol, exercise more than usual, cannot eat because of nausea or vomiting, take certain medicines, or take saxagliptin and metformin combination with another type of diabetes medicine. The symptoms of low blood sugar must be treated before they lead to unconsciousness (passing out). Different people feel different symptoms of low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms of low blood sugar you usually have so you can treat it quickly.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) include: anxiety; behavior changes similar to being drunk; blurred vision; cold sweats; confusion; cool, pale skin; difficulty with thinking; drowsiness; excessive hunger; fast heartbeat; headache (continuing); nausea; nervousness; nightmares; restless sleep; shakiness; slurred speech; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
If symptoms of low blood sugar occur, eat glucose tablets or gel, corn syrup, honey, or sugar cubes; or drink fruit juice, non-diet soft drink, or sugar dissolved in water. Also, check your blood for low blood sugar. Glucagon is used in emergency situations when severe symptoms such as seizures (convulsions) or unconsciousness occur. Have a glucagon kit available, along with a syringe and needle, and know how to use it. The members of your household should also know how to use it.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) include: blurred vision; drowsiness; dry mouth; flushed, dry skin; fruit-like breath odor; increased urination (frequency and volume); ketones in the urine; loss of appetite; sleepiness; stomachache, nausea, or vomiting; tiredness; troubled breathing (rapid and deep); unconsciousness; or unusual thirst.
High blood sugar may occur if you do not exercise as much as usual, have a fever or infection, do not take enough or skip a dose of your diabetes medicine, or overeat or do not follow your meal plan.
If symptoms of high blood sugar occur, check your blood sugar level and then call your doctor for instructions.
This medicine is only part of a complete program for controlling diabetes. It is important that you always eat a healthy diet, watch your weight, and get regular exercise.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.