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What is Januvia (sitagliptin)?

Januvia is a diabetes medication used only for treating adults with type 2 diabetes. This drug is not approved for treating type 1 diabetes. The main ingredient in Januvia is sitagliptin, which belongs to the drug class dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors. This means that Januvia helps with blood sugar regulation by enhancing the hormone involved in glucose removal. Januvia is a popular choice for treating type 2 diabetes because it reduces both fasting and post-prandial (after food) blood sugar levels and does not cause weight gain.

Always consult your healthcare provider for how you should take Januvia
Follow your doctor’s directions and refer to the packaging instructions for more information

  • Januvia should be taken exactly as prescribed
  • Januvia may be taken with or without food
  • Blood tests may be required to ensure Januvia is working as intended
  • Regularly check your blood sugar to prevent hypoglycemia
  • Monitor for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), including increased urination, blurred vision, and tiredness
  • Store this drug at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light

Cautions

Before taking Januvia (sitagliptin), inform your doctor if you have or have ever had:

  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatitis
  • High triglycerides
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart problems
  • Alcoholism

Januvia is not approved for patients under 18 years old. This drug may also not be safe to use if you breastfeed. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Januvia, speak to your doctor. Your dose of Januvia will likely need to be adjusted each trimester to avoid complications to the mother and baby.

Side Effects of Januvia

Januvia has been known to cause the following side effects:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat

Severe side effects with Januvia may also occur. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Itching, blisters, or a breakdown of the outer layer of your skin indicating an autoimmune reaction
  • Severe or persistent joint pain
  • Little to no urination
  • Shortness of breath, leg swelling, or rapid weight gain indicative of heart failure

FAQs

How long does it take for Januvia to work?

Studies show that Januvia becomes the most effective after 24 weeks of treatment. However, many patients report improvements in symptoms within the first two weeks. Januvia is a long-term diabetes drug, which means you should not stop taking it unless your doctor advises you to stop. Your doctor may conduct blood tests to measure if Januvia is helping with blood sugar control.

What is the best time to take Januvia?

Januvia may be taken in the morning or evening, but taking sitagliptin at the same time each day helps you get into a routine so that you will not miss a dose. Take Januvia once a day as directed by your doctor, and take any missed doses as soon as you remember. However, skip the missed dose if it is time for your next dose, and avoid double-dosing to make up for missing a dose.

Does Januvia cause weight loss?

On its own, Januvia does not cause any significant weight loss or gain. However, patients who take sitagliptin alongside sulfonylureas glipizide may experience weight gain. Because Januvia is often prescribed in conjunction with a diet plan and exercise regimen, weight loss may occur. But Januvia is not approved by the FDA for weight loss.

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