Generic Name: sitagliptin (SI ta glip tin)
Brand Names: Januvia
What is Januvia?
Januvia (sitagliptin) is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. It works by regulating the levels of insulin your body produces after eating.
Januvia is for people with type 2 diabetes. It is sometimes used in combination with other diabetes medications, but is not for treating type 1 diabetes.
Januvia may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use Januvia if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
Januvia can cause pancreatitis. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Januvia can cause a serious allergic reaction. Get emergency medical help if you have a fever, sore throat, swelling or burning in your face, skin pain, and a skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use Januvia if you are allergic to sitagliptin, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).
To make sure Januvia is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis); or
a history of pancreatitis.
FDA pregnancy category B. Januvia is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
Your name may need to be listed on a Januvia pregnancy registry when you start using this medicine.
It is not known whether sitagliptin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give Januvia to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.
How should I take Januvia?
Take Januvia exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take Januvia with or without food. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can happen to everyone who has diabetes. Symptoms include headache, hunger, sweating, pale skin, irritability, dizziness, feeling shaky, or trouble concentrating.
Keep a source of sugar with you in case you have low blood sugar. Sugar sources include fruit juice, hard candy, crackers, raisins, and non-diet soda. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection. Your doctor can prescribe a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to use it.
Also watch for signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, and weight loss.
Check your blood sugar carefully during times of stress, travel, illness, surgery or medical emergency, vigorous exercise, or if you drink alcohol or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
Januvia is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, weight control, and possibly other medications. It is important to use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Store Januvia at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. You may have signs of low blood sugar, such as extreme weakness, blurred vision, sweating, trouble speaking, tremors, stomach pain, confusion, and seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Januvia side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Januvia: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Januvia and call your doctor at once if you have:
pancreatitis - severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fast heart rate;
little or no urinating;
swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath; or
severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common Januvia side effects may include:
runny or stuffy nose, sore throat;
headache, back pain, joint or muscle pain; or
nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Januvia?
Using certain medicines can make it harder for you to tell when you have low blood sugar. Tell your doctor if you use albuterol, clonidine, reserpine, or a beta-blocker (atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, and others).
Before you take Januvia, tell your doctor if you are also taking digoxin (Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin).
Although Januvia is not as likely to cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as some other oral diabetes medications, tell your doctor if you are taking any other drugs that can potentially lower blood sugar, such as:
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs);
aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto-Bismol);
a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin);
sulfa drugs (Bactrim, SMX-TMP, and others);
a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI); or
beta-blockers (Tenormin and others).
insulin or other oral diabetes medications.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Januvia, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Januvia (sitagliptin)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Januvia.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Januvia only for the indication prescribed.
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