What is Januvia?
Januvia is a medicine that is used to lower the level of glucose in the blood (blood sugar level). It contains the active ingredient sitagliptin, a type of medicine called a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor. This medicine prevents the breakdown of incretin hormones which play a large role in the production of insulin in the pancreas. This increases the production of insulin in the body and helps control the blood sugar level in patients with diabetes.
What is it used for?
Januvia is prescribed by doctors to treat patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This type of diabetes is characterised by the insufficient production of insulin in the pancreas, which leads to too high levels of glucose in the blood. Diabetes causes symptoms such as increased thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, eye problems and slow-healing sores or cuts. If left untreated, diabetes can also damage your organs. Januvia increases the production of insulin. As a result, the symptoms related to diabetes will disappear.
How to use Januvia
Januvia tablets should be swallowed whole with some liquid, preferably with your breakfast. It is important to take this medicine every day, even if you feel better. If you have forgotten to take a dose of Januvia, you may take it as soon as you remember unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Never take a double dose to make up for the forgotten one.
Unless otherwise prescribed by your doctor, the usual dose is:
- One tablet a day, preferably taken in the morning.
The duration of the treatment is decided by your doctor. Always follow the prescription exactly - never take more or less than your doctor recommends.
Januvia may cause side effects. The most commonly reported side effects include:
- Low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia), causing symptoms such as trembling, headache, perspiration and hunger. Mild side effects can be treated by eating glucose tablets or drinking sweetened fruit juice.
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Blurred vision, dizziness.
See package leaflet for more side effects, warnings and contraindications.
When not to use this medicine
Januvia is not suitable for everyone. Do not use this medicine if:
- You are allergic to sitagliptin or any other ingredient in this medicine.
Consult a doctor on the use of this medicine if your alcohol intake is excessive or if you have health problems such as a disease affecting the pancreas, gallstones or high levels of fat in your blood. Be sure to inform the doctor of any medicines you are taking. Januvia may interact with some medicines. For more information on contraindications, interactions and warnings, see the package leaflet.
Do not use Januvia if you are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding. Consult your doctor about alternative glucose-reducing medications.
Januvia may cause dizziness or a hypo. Stay out of traffic if you experience these side effects and always carry sugar, preferably glucose in a rapidly-absorbed form such as glucose tablets or sweetened fruit juice.
Alcoholic drinks tend to lower your blood sugar, increasing the risk of a hypo. You should therefore reduce or stop alcohol consumption while taking Januvia and never drink alcohol on an empty stomach.