Januvia side effects and drug information

Januvia goes by the brand name of sitagliptin, which is an oral anti-diabetic prescription medication that lowers blood sugar levels. Clinically, it works by controlling and normalizing the amount of insulin production by your body after each meal. Januvia is a kind of drug known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 or DPP-4 inhibitor. These are the forms of medications that help maintain the normal levels of insulin and decrease the amount of blood sugar produced by the human body. It comes in a tablet form that you need to swallow. Generally, Januvia has thee various strengths: 100 mg, 50 mg, and 25 mg. When using this drug, it is usually incorporated with proper diet and regular exercise to enhance blood sugar controls among adult patients who have type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is not utilized for curing type 1.

PubChem CID4369359
Trade name Xelevia, Tesavel, Januvia etc
Protein binding38%
Molar mass407.314 g/mol
ChemSpider ID3571948

 Taking Januvia or sitagliptin and practicing a healthy lifestyle can also decrease the risk of acquiring severe or life-threatening problems that might branch out from being diabetic, such as stroke, heart disease, kidney problems, nerve damage, and eye problems.

Side effects

Along with its essential effects, Januvia can also cause some mild to severe side effects. It is highly suggested that you talk to your doctor concerning this potential Januvia side effects. They can give you valuable insights and tips on how to handle any of these side effects that might get problematic. The more common side effects of Januvia include headache, stuffy or runny nose, and upper respiratory infections, like a sinus infection or common cold. These side effects will subside after a few days or several weeks. However, if they continue and don’t go away, contact your healthcare provider.

Severe Januvia side effects are rare. However, they could still happen. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience these severe side effects. In case the effects worsen and turn fatal, call 911 as soon as possible. Severe side effects include dizziness, fast heartbeat, confusion, headache, jittery or nervous feeling, drowsiness, hunger, weakness, sweating, and irritable or upset perception.

Besides this, allergic reactions from Januvia can also occur. Symptoms of allergic reaction are angioedema (swelling under the skin, usually in the lips, feet, hands, or eyelids), anaphylaxis (a kind of severe allergic reaction with rash, pulse rate, breathing problems, and abrupt reduction of blood pressure), and Steven-Johnson syndrome (painful and aching sores on the throat, genitals, eyes, and mouth).

Kidney problems are another side effect that one can experience from using Januvia or sitagliptin. The symptoms of kidney problems include: confusion, coma, seizures, pressure or pain in the chest, abnormal drowsiness, excessive fatigue, prolonged nausea, causing anaphylaxis, swollen feet, ankles, or legs, decreased urine, severe joint pain, unusual shortness of breath, and joint pain, stiffness, or swelling and growth of fungus. Pancreatitis might also emerge as a side effect when taking Januvia. The symptoms of this unwanted effect include the following: swollen abdomen, hiccups, tender abdomen, indigestion, vomiting or nausea, fever, pain in the upper body, unexpected weight loss.

You might be questioning how these side effects came to be upon using Januvia or sitagliptin. Just like any other drug, some individuals can develop areaction right after using Januvia. Allergic reactions associated with Januvia happen three months after taking it. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction include itchiness, skin rash, and flushing or that redness and warmth in your skin. A more serious reaction rarely happens; however, it is still possible. The symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to Januvia include: breathing problems, swollen throat, tongue, or mouth, and swelling under the skin, commonly in the feet, hands, lips, or eyelids.

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you encounter severe Januvia allergic reaction. While on medication, keep asking a doctor to provide medical advice diagnosis and advice about side effects. You should also contact 911 if you inspect that the symptoms are fatal or if you are experiencing a medical emergency. Always ask a doctor for medical advice as well as advice diagnosis or treatment for whatever you may be feeling.

Indication and dosage

Check with your doctor before starting to take this medication. The drug is intended for diabetics. Ask your doctor for advice diagnosis or treatment as well as directions precautions. The dosage for Januvia that your doctor will prescribe varies according to these key factors:

  • your age
  • the status of your kidney
  • the kind and severity of your diabetic condition
  • other drugs and medications you are taking

Commonly, your doctor will begin on a low dosage. Then, he/she will modify it over time, until the proper dosage that fits your requirements and needs is achieved. Your doctor will give you the lowest dosage that yields the most suitable effects. The following details tackle the most common dosages that are recommended when taking Januvia.

However, ensure that you follow the dosage instructed by your doctor. It is only your doctor who can determine the perfect dosage to fit your needs as well as provide medical advice diagnosis for your condition.

Januvia is a prescription meds that controls type 2 diabetes, alongside proper diet and regular exercise. Dosage for patients with this condition starts at 100 mg taken once a day. You can consume the meds with or without food. If you have an impaired kidney, your healthcare specialist might prescribe you with a different Januvia dosage.

Variations in dosages are usually more prevalent among older patients. This is because the efficiency of their kidneys might degenerate as they grow old. In case you have concerns or questions about the dosage of Januvia, you can freely talk to your doctor.

Drug Interaction

If you are taking or planning to take Januvia, you need to tell your healthcare providers, including your doctor, pharmacist, nurse, and dentist, about all the non-prescription, prescription, recreation, illegal, dietary, nutritional, and herbal drugs that you are using.

This is because there are drugs that can potentially interact with Januvia. When drug interactions occur, it changes the way Januvia works in controlling the amount of insulin and blood sugar levels in the body. Take note and stay away from these drugs since they can cause interaction:

  • insulin
  • Lanoxin or Lanoxicaps (digoxin)
  • Particular oral medications intended for diabetics such as Amaryl (glimepiride), DiaBeta (glyburide), tolbutamide, Diabinese (chlorpropamide), and Glucotrol (glipizide).

Aside from this, alcohol can also impact the levels of blood sugar. Never consume alcohol if you are using Januvia without talking to your doctor first. Moreover, Januvia might cause dizziness, so be careful when you are operating a machine, driving a car, or doing certain physical activities that need precise alertness.

Warnings and Precautions

Januvia is not prescribed among patients with type 1 diabetes (a condition where the body is unable to make any insulin) or diabetic ketoacidosis (a fatal complication that can take place if the high blood sugar remains untreated). Before you take Januvia, tell your healthcare provider that you have or had developed any of the following: gallbladder stones, high cholesterol, angioedema (swelling of the lips, throat, tongue, legs, face, and arms) and kidney disease.

Januvia can also heighten the chance of acquiring pancreatic or the inflammation or swelling of the pancreas. Make sure you tell your doctor if you ever developed complications with your pancreas, or if you suffer from any of these symptoms while using Januvia: loss of appetite, extreme pain in the upper stomach up to the back, fast heartbeat, or severe vomiting or nausea. Moreover, you should inform your doctor that you are using Januvia before undergoing any form of surgery, such as dental procedure.

Januvia is not approved by the FDA to be taken by patients under 18 years old. Tell your doctor if you consumed alcohol or have consumed a massive amount of alcohol before taking the meds. Januvia can also result in a severe allergic reaction that might be fatal and hazardous. Check your doctor immediately if you experience any of these allergic reaction symptoms: sore throat, burning in your eyes, rash (especially a red or purplish rash), itching, loose skin, fever or chills, trouble breathing or swallowing, skin pain, peeling, blistering, and swelling in the face, tongue, hand, throat, or mouth.

Furthermore, injuries, illnesses, and unexplained stress can impact the levels of your blood sugar. They might also affect the dosage of Januvia that you have to take. Consult your doctor if you notice one of these conditions. Your blood sugar might also fluctuate before taking Januvia as a treatment. You have to know the possible symptoms of low or high blood sugar activity, and what reasonable measures you should take in case you experience them. Symptoms of low blood sugar include sweating, feeling shaky, dizziness, pale skin, irritability, and trouble concentrating. On the other hand, symptoms of high blood sugar include increased urination, dry mouth, increased thirst, hunger, drowsiness, fruity breath odor, blurred vision, dry skin, and weight loss.

Overdose and Contraindications

If you take Januvia too much or too often, you are at risk of overdosing. The symptoms of overdose include extreme weakness, sweating, blurred vision, stomach pain, trouble speaking, seizures, tremors, and confusion. If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect overdose, call an emergency room or poison control center as soon as possible. Moreover, Januvia is contraindicated in these conditions: angioedema, exfoliative dermatitis, severe rash, diabetic ketoacidosis, infection, type 1 diabetes, burns, fever, hyperglycemia, hypercortisolism, adrenal insufficiency, pituitary insufficiency, GI obstruction, renal impairment, renal failure, pancreatitis, arthralgia, heart failure, hypothyroidism, and malnutrition.

Clinical Pharmacology

Januvia is considered as a DPP-4 inhibitor that is established to work among patients with type 2 diabetes by inhibiting the inactivation of hormones called incretin. With Januvia, the concentrations of these active intact hormones are heightened and improved, resulting in prolonged and upgraded activities of these hormones. Reduced incretin inhibition improves insulin production and lower release of glucagon in a way that is associated with concentrations of glucose. These effects potentially increase control over blood sugar, which is supported by a significant decrease in glycosylated hemoglobin. This is how Januvia operates to maintain and stabilize type 2 diabetes.