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Generic Name: dapagliflozin and saxagliptin (DAP a gli FLOE zin and SAX a GLIP tin)
Brand Names: Qtern
Qtern contains a combination of dapagliflozin and saxagliptin. These are oral diabetes medicines that help control blood sugar levels. Qtern works by helping the kidneys get rid of glucose from your bloodstream. Includes side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Qtern contains a combination of dapagliflozin and saxagliptin. Dapagliflozin and saxagliptin are oral diabetes medicines that help control blood sugar levels. Dapagliflozin works by helping the kidneys get rid of glucose from your bloodstream. Saxagliptin works by regulating the levels of insulin your body produces after eating. Qtern is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Qtern is also used to lower the risk of death from heart attack, stroke, or heart failure in adults with type 2 diabetes who also have heart disease. Learn more

Qtern Side Effects

Qtern Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about dapagliflozin / saxagliptin. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Qtern.

For the Consumer

Applies to dapagliflozin/saxagliptin: oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, dapagliflozin / saxagliptin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking dapagliflozin / saxagliptin:

More common

  • Bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • lower back or side pain

Less common

  • Anxiety
  • bloody urine
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • cool, pale skin
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • nightmares
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech
  • swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs
  • troubled breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • weight gain

Incidence not known

  • Agitation
  • bloating
  • chest pain
  • constipation
  • cough
  • cracks in the skin
  • darkened urine
  • decreased urine output
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dilated neck veins
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • dry mouth
  • extreme fatigue
  • fever
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • hostility
  • increased urination
  • indigestion
  • irregular breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • irritability
  • large, hard skin blisters
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • lethargy
  • loss of consciousness
  • loss of heat from the body
  • muscle twitching
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • rapid weight gain
  • red, swollen skin
  • redness, itching, swelling, or pain around the penis
  • scaly skin
  • severe joint pain
  • shakiness
  • stupor
  • sweating
  • tightness in the chest
  • unexplained weight loss
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of dapagliflozin / saxagliptin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Body aches or pain
  • ear congestion
  • loss of voice
  • nasal congestion
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat

Less common

  • Back pain
  • diarrhea

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to dapagliflozin / saxagliptin: oral tablet


The more commonly reported adverse reactions have been upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, and dyslipidemia.


With this therapy, adverse reactions related to decreased renal function occurred in 2% of patients and included decreased glomerular filtration rate, renal impairment, increased blood creatinine, acute renal failure, and decreased urine output. None of the events were serious. Three subjects discontinued therapy due to decreased eGFR.

Postmarketing reports of acute kidney injury, some requiring hospitalization and dialysis, have been received in patients receiving dapagliflozin. Some cases have occurred in non-elderly patients.


Common (1% to 10%): Renal impairment


Frequency not reported: Serum creatinine increases, eGFR decreases

Postmarketing reports: Acute kidney injury



Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection, genital infection, increased urination, dysuria


Postmarketing reports: Urosepsis, pyelonephritis, genital mycotic infections, Fournier's gangrene

The majority of genital infections were in females; reported genital infections included vulvovaginal mycotic infection, balanoposthitis, genital fungal infection, vaginal infection, and vulvovaginitis. The majority of urinary tract infections were also in females and included urinary tract infections, Escherichia urinary tract infection, prostatitis, and pyelonephritis.

In the 5 years (2013 to 2018) since SGLT2 inhibitor approval, 12 cases of Fournier's gangrene have been reported. Reports were almost equal in men and women (men=7; women=5), ages ranged from 38 to 78 years, and the average time to onset after starting an SGLT2 inhibitor was 9.2 months (range 7 days to 25 months). All SGLT2 inhibitor drugs except ertugliflozin were included in the reports. Ertugliflozin being the most recently approved agent, is expected to have the same risk, but insufficient patient use to assess risk. All patients were hospitalized, all required surgery, all required surgical debridement, 5 required more than 1 surgery and 1 required skin grafting. Four cases were complicated by diabetic ketoacidosis, acute kidney injury, and septic shock, leading to prolonged hospitalization, and death in 1 case. In the general population, Fournier's gangrene occurs in about 1.6 out of 100,000 males annually, with the highest incidence in men 50 to 79 years. Since diabetes is a risk factor for Fournier's gangrene, a review of the FAERS database for the last 34 years was done and only 6 cases (all males, median age 57 years) were found with several other classes of antidiabetic drugs. Findings with SGLT2 inhibitors appear to show an association over a shorter time frame and involve both males and females.



Postmarketing reports: Serious hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, angioedema, exfoliative skin conditions



Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory tract infection (13.6%)



Frequency not reported: Hypotension


Frequency not reported: Heart failure requiring hospitalization

Events relating to volume depletion including hypotension, dehydration, and hypovolemia were reported in 2 patients (0.4%) in clinical trials with dapagliflozin-saxagliptin.

In a saxagliptin cardiovascular outcomes trial among patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) or with multiple risk factors for ASCVD, hospitalization for heart failure occurred in 3.5% (289/8280) of patients receiving saxagliptin compared to 2.8% (228/8212) of patients receiving placebo. Hospitalization, irrespective of treatment, occurred more frequently among patients with renal impairment and a history of heart failure.


Newly diagnosed bladder cancer was reported in 0.17% (10/6045) of patients treated with dapagliflozin compared with 0.03% (1/3512) of patients receiving comparator/placebo therapy. After excluding cases in which exposure to drug was less than 1 year, 4 cases occurred in the dapagliflozin group and no cases in comparator/placebo group. Due to the low numbers, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether this is attributable to dapagliflozin nor is there data to determine whether there is an effect on preexisting bladder tumors.


Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Bladder cancer


DPP-4 Inhibitors:

Postmarketing reports: Bullous pemphigoid


Postmarketing reports: Rash



Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Erectile dysfunction, pruritus genital, vulvovaginal pruritus



Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, gastritis, nausea, vomiting

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Constipation, dry mouth


Postmarketing reports: Acute pancreatitis

In a saxagliptin cardiovascular outcomes trial among patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) or with multiple risk factors for ASCVD, acute pancreatitis was confirmed in 0.2% (17/8240) of patients receiving saxagliptin compared to 0.1% (9/8173) of patients receiving placebo. Preexisting factors were reported in 15 and 9 patients receiving saxagliptin and placebo, respectively.



Very common (10% or more): Hypoglycemia (when combined with sulfonylurea)

Common (1% to 10%): Dyslipidemia, hypoglycemia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Volume depletion, thirst, decreased weight


Frequency not reported: Increase in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol

Postmarketing reports: Ketoacidosis, including fatalities

Increases in LDL-cholesterol with dapagliflozin use have ranged from 2.1% to 6.9%.



Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, arthralgia

DPP-4 inhibitors:

Postmarketing reports: Severe and disabling arthralgia

Nervous system


Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dizziness



Common (1% to 10%): Increase in mean hematocrit


Common (1% to 10%): Decrease in absolute lymphocyte count

Increase from baseline in mean hematocrit has been observed with dapagliflozin. Hematocrit values greater than 55% were reported in 1.3% of the subjects treated with dapagliflozin 10 mg versus 0.4% of placebo subjects.

A dose related mean decrease in absolute lymphocyte count has been observed with saxagliptin use; mean decreases to less than 750 cells/micro were observed in 0.5%, 1.5%, and 0.4% of patients receiving saxagliptin 2.5 mg or 5 mg, and placebo groups, respectively. The clinical significance of this is not known.

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Qtern