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What is Januvia?

Januvia (sitagliptin) is a prescription drug that helps to control blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors that influence alpha and beta cells in the pancreas to help regulate glucose levels by regulating and increasing the release of insulin especially after eating. Sitagliptin also sends signals to the liver to stop producing glucose when there is too much sugar in the blood. Januvia should be taken as part of a lifestyle program that includes changes in diet, exercise, and weight loss if necessary.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions when taking Januvia.

  • Januvia is taken once daily, with or without food.
  • Try to take Januvia at the same time each day.
  • Your doctor may adjust dosage to better control your diabetes, but it is important that you don’t change dosage on your own.
  • Continue taking Januvia even when you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication unless directed to by a doctor.

Cautions

Before taking Januvia, inform your doctor if you:

  • Kidney disease (including dialysis)
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Pancreatitis

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Alcohol should be limited as this can increase your risk of low blood sugar levels.

Regular blood sugar monitoring is an important part of diabetes treatment. Low blood sugar can occur after skipping meals, strenuous exercise, or drinking alcohol. Learn to recognize signs of low blood sugar, including headache, sweating, weakness, confusion, and tremor. Carry sources of sugar such as glucose tablets or hard candy that can be used in case of low blood sugar.

Januvia is not meant to treat Type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.

Side Effects of Januvia

Some of the most common side effects of Januvia include:

  • Upset stomach, diarrhea.
  • Upper respiratory infection.
  • Headaches or joint pains.
  • Increased urination.

More serious side effects include:

  • Signs of pancreatitis: severe pain in stomach, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite.
  • Urinating less than usual or not at all.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Skin reaction: swelling in face, burning in eyes, red or purple rash.

FAQs

Can I take Januvia if I have Type 1 diabetes?

No. Januvia is specifically for patients with Type 2 diabetes, and should only be taken under the care of a doctor.

How long will I need to take Januvia?

Continue taking Januvia as directed by your doctor. Lifestyle changes including diet and exercise can help better control your diabetes, and may reduce the need to take Januvia.

Does Januvia cause weight gain?

Januvia is not associated with weight gain in most patients. However, weight gain during treatment with Januvia may indicate another side effect such as kidney problems or heart failure. Tell your doctor if you experience sudden weight gain while taking Januvia.

What if I miss a dose of Januvia?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. After doing so, return to your regular dosing schedule and make sure to never take two doses of Januvia at once.

How should I store my Januvia medication?

Januvia should be stored at room temperature and away from the reach of children and pets. Avoid storing your medicine in the bathroom so that it is not damaged by moisture. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for proper ways to dispose of expired Januvia medication.

How does Januvia work?

When taken along with exercise and an improved diet, Januvia helps patients manage type 2 diabetes symptoms by lowering blood glucose. Januvia, also known as sitagliptin, helps to adjust the body's insulin and glucose levels after a meal.

What is the best time to take Januvia?

Januvia should be taken at the same time each day, depending on your doctor's instructions. While Januvia may be taken in the morning or evening, getting into a routine can help you remember your medication.

Dr.Heather Bartlett

Medical Content on this page has been reviewed and confirmed for accuracy by

Dr. Heather Bartlett
MD

Dr. Heather Bartlett has been in practice for over 10 years, practicing in outpatient family medicine, emergency medicine, urgent care medicine, and pre-admission testing. After she graduated from Texas A&M College Station, she then enrolled and graduated from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Grand Cayman with a Doctorate of Medicine Degree, in the British West Indies. She is Board Certified Family Medicine, ABFM.

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