What is Januvia?
Januvia (sitagliptin) is a medication that is taken once-daily to help lower blood glucose (sugar) levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.
It works by regulating the insulin produced by the body after meals.
Januvia is prescribed along with a healthy diet, exercise weight control and regular blood sugar testing in order to optimize glycemic control.
It is not known whether Januvia is safe and effective in children.
This medication should not be used by those with type 1 diabetes or experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis (increased ketones in the blood or urine).
It is unknown if you have a high chance of getting developing pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) if you have had it in the past.
Januvia belongs to a class of drugs called antidiabetics, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors (DPP-4 inhibitors), which are drugs that stabilize and manage blood glucose levels among patients with diabetes.
DPP-4 inhibitors slow the inactivation and degradation of the hormone GLP-1 which is responsible for the removal of glucose in the gut and improve glycemic control and reduce both fasting and postprandial (after meals) glucose levels without causing weight gain. It does not cause hypoglycemia unless combined with other treatments.
How is Januvia used?
Januvia is prescribed by itself or with other diabetes medications.
Take Januvia as instructed by your doctor and pharmacist. Review directions on the medication guide, prescription label and instruction sheets. Your doctor may choose to adjust your dosage. Be sure to follow their instructions carefully.
It can be taken with or without food.
Your doctor may recommend checking blood glucose levels regularly and share results during visits.
Store medication at room temperature and away from heat, direct light and moisture.
The most common side effect experienced by patients taking Januvia include stuffy runny nose, sore throat, headache or upper respiratory infection.
When JANUVIA was used with a drug called rosiglitazone, some reported side effects including upset stomach, swelling of hands and feet and diarrhea.
As with any medication, side effects may occur. However, most patients do not experience any serious side effects.
Even though sitagliptin does not cause hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar levels may result from there medications that are part of your diabetes treatment such as sulfonylurea or insulin. Your doctor may adjust the dosage of one or more medications you are taking during your treatment.
Blood sugar levels can be affected by several factors including alcohol consumption, surgery, exercise, stress, skipping meals and illness.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include:
- feeling jittery
- tingling in hands/feet
- blurred vision
- increased heartbeat
To treat episodes of hypoglycemia, consume a glucose tablet, sugar packet, sugary snack (candy, jellybeans, raisins, crackers) or sugar drink (non-diet soda or fruit juice).
Your doctor may prescribe a glucagon injection kit in case patient loses consciousness due to hypoglycemia. Educate family and friends on what to do in the event loss of consciousness due to hypoglycemia and how to inject glucagon.
To prevent hypoglycemia, avoid strenuous exercise, high alcohol consumption, skipping meals or consuming a low among of calories.
Let your doctor know if you experience episodes of hypoglycemia.
Patients may experience symptoms of hyperglycemia as part of their diabetes treatment.
Symptoms of hyperglycemia include:
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- rapid breathing
- fruit or acetone breath
If these symptoms occur, consult your doctor immediately. They may choose to adjust your insulin treatment.
Let your doctor know if you experience severe side effects such as kidney problems, joint pain, blisters, signs of heart failure, swollen ankles/feet, unusual tiredness and rapid weight gain.
Patients may experience symptoms of an allergic reaction if they are allergic to its contents. If you experience an allergic reaction, notify your doctor. Seek medical emergency by calling 911 if you feel the symptoms are life-threatening such as full-body skin rash, swelling of the neck/face or throat, severe dizziness or trouble breathing.
Other known Side Effects
Some patients requiring dialysis.
Patients who have taken DPP-4 inhibitors such as Januvia have reported joint pain. Inform your doctor if you experience severe joint pain.
patients who have taken DPP-4 inhibitors like Januvia have experienced skin reactions such as bullous pemphigoid that may require treatment at the hospital. Inform your doctor if you experience a breakdown of the outer layer of the skin (skin erosion) or develop blisters.
Contact your doctor at once if you experience:
- symptoms of heart failure, shortness of breath, rapid weight gain or swelling of the legs or feet.
- severe autoimmune reaction itching, breakdown of the outer layer of skin or blisters;
- severe or ongoing pain in your joints;
- little or no urination
Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects that are bothersome and do not go away.
If you wish to report side effects to the Food & Drug Administration you can call toll-free at 1-800-FDA-1088.
This is not a complete list of side effects. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to get information on side effects related to Januvia.
WARNINGS & PRECAUTIONS
Januvia is not to be used for treatment of type 1 diabetes.
It should not be used by anyone under 18 years of age.
Before taking Januvia, inform your doctor:
- if you have an allergy to sitagliptin
- if you are experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis
- pregnant or planning on pregnancy
If you have previously had:
- heart problems
- high triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood);
- kidney disease (on on dialysis)
Other drugs may affect Januvia including prescription, over-the-counter medication, vitamins, herbal products and other supplements.
Follow your doctors instructions if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy. During pregnancy blood sugar control is very important and your dose and overall treatment may require adjustment by your doctor. High blood sugar has been known to cause complications during pregnancy for both mother and baby. You may be required to register on the Januvia pregnancy registry if you take this medication while pregnant.
Breastfeeding may not be safe while taking Januvia. Speak to you doctor about the possible risks of taking this medication if you are currently breastfeeding.
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