Januvia (Sitagliptin Phosphate)
What is Januvia?
Januvia, a DPP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase 4) inhibitor, is a once-daily prescription pill that helps lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is available in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets. Along with a healthy diet and exercise, Januvia helps control blood sugar before and after meals, and anytime in between. The generic version of Januvia is called Sitagliptin Phosphate.
Conditions treated by Januvia
Januvia helps treat type 2 diabetes, a condition that causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. So while your pancreas is still able to produce insulin, it does not produce as much as your body requires, or your tissues may no longer use the insulin properly.
Some people don't know they have diabetes until these and other symptoms arise:
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections
- Areas with darkened skin
While researchers are not completely certain why some people develop type 2 diabetes, there are known risk factors, including:
The more fatty tissue a person has, the more resistant their cells are to insulin. That said, some people who are not overweight develop type 2 diabetes.
Exercise not only helps us manage weight, it also uses glucose (sugar) as energy.
If you have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to develop it as well.
As we get older, the risk of type 2 diabetes increases—especially after age 45.
What to know before taking Januvia
- Do not take Januvia if you have type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.
- If you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding, ask your doctor if Januvia is safe to take.
- Tell your doctor if you have ever had heart failure or have problems with your kidneys. Discuss any other medical conditions or allergies you have and provide a list of any over-the-counter or prescription drugs you take, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements, in order to avoid any drug interactions.
- Take Januvia once daily, with or without food, as prescribed by your doctor.
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you forget to take your pill until it is time for your next dose, skip the missed pill and continue your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at one time.
- Test your blood sugar regularly so your doctor can monitor progress and adjust your dosage as needed (especially if you get sick or if you're traveling, which can affect your blood sugar).
- Tell your doctor if you experience any sort of stress or trauma—such as a car accident, surgery, or medical emergency—which can change the amount of medication you need.
- Remember that diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors can help Januvia effectively lower blood sugar.
- Cease unhealthy habits such as smoking, which can make it harder for Januvia to work effectively.
- Do not stop taking any current medications or start any new ones without talking to your doctor first; any change can also affect glucose levels.
Possible Januvia side effects
As with all prescription drugs, there are potential side effects when it comes to taking Januvia.
Some people may experience:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Body aches or joint pain
- Digestive upset, such as nausea, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea