Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 2, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Hypoglycemic
Pharmacologic Class: Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV Inhibitor
Uses for sitagliptin
Sitagliptin is used alone or together with other medicines (eg, insulin, glimepiride, metformin, or pioglitazone) and with proper diet and exercise to treat high blood sugar levels caused by type 2 diabetes. Sitagliptin helps to control blood sugar levels by increasing substances in the body that make the pancreas release more insulin. It also signals the liver to stop producing sugar (glucose) when there is too much sugar in the blood. Sitagliptin does not help patients who have insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes.
Sitagliptin is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using sitagliptin
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For sitagliptin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to sitagliptin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of sitagliptin in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of sitagliptin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving sitagliptin.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking sitagliptin, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using sitagliptin with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Thioctic Acid
Using sitagliptin with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of sitagliptin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol, excessive use of or
- Gallbladder stones or
- Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol in the blood) or
- Hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides or fats in the blood) or
- Pancreas problems, history of—Use with caution. May increase risk for getting pancreatitis (swelling and inflammation of the pancreas).
- Angioedema (swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, or legs), history with this medication or other dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors—Use with caution. May increase the risk of this condition occurring again.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (high ketones and acid in the blood) or
- Type 1 diabetes—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Heart failure, history of or
- Kidney damage, history of—May increase risk for heart failure.
- Kidney disease, moderate or severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of sitagliptin
Take sitagliptin exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Sitagliptin should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Carefully follow the special meal plan your doctor gave you. This is the most important part of controlling your diabetes, and is necessary if the medicine is to work properly. Exercise regularly and test for sugar in your blood or urine as directed.
You may take sitagliptin with or without food.
The dose of sitagliptin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of sitagliptin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For type 2 diabetes:
- Adults—100 milligrams (mg) once a day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For type 2 diabetes:
If you miss a dose of sitagliptin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using sitagliptin
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that sitagliptin is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Sitagliptin may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, angioedema, or certain skin conditions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome). These reactions can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, blistering, peeling, or loose skin, fever or chills, trouble breathing or swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, mouth, or throat while you are using sitagliptin.
Pancreatitis (swelling and inflammation of the pancreas) may occur while you are using sitagliptin. Check with your doctor right away if you have a sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, or lightheadedness.
Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms: chest pain, decreased urine output, dilated neck veins, extreme fatigue, irregular breathing, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs, tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, or weight gain. These may be signs of heart failure.
Sitagliptin may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This is more common when sitagliptin is taken together with certain medicines. Low blood sugar must be treated before it causes you to pass out (unconsciousness). People feel different symptoms of low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms you usually have so you can treat it quickly. Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat low blood sugar.
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your medicine, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have a fever or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual. High blood sugar can be very serious and must be treated right away. It is important that you learn which symptoms you have in order to treat it quickly. Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat high blood sugar.
There may be a time when you need emergency help for a problem caused by your diabetes. You need to be prepared for these emergencies. It is a good idea to wear a medical identification (ID) bracelet or neck chain at all times. Also, carry an ID card in your wallet or purse that says you have diabetes with a list of all your medicines.
Sitagliptin may cause bullous pemphigoid. Tell your doctor if you have large, hard skin blisters while using sitagliptin.
Sitagliptin may cause severe and disabling joint pain. Call your doctor right away if you have severe joint pain while using sitagliptin.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Sitagliptin side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- blurred vision
- cold sweats
- cool, pale skin
- fast heartbeat
- increased hunger
- loss of consciousness
- slurred speech
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
- Blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin
- hives or welts, itching, or skin rash
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- loss of appetite
- pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- red skin lesions, often with a purple center
- redness of the skin
- severe joint pain
- sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Body aches or pain
- difficulty with breathing
- ear congestion
- loss of voice
- muscle aches
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- stomach pain
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
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- Drug class: dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors
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