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Januvia (sitagliptin, antidiabetic agent)

Uses|Precautions & warnings|Side effects|Interactions|Dosage

Januvia is the brand name of the drug sitagliptin. Sitagliptin is a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor that treats diabetes. It should be taken in combination with diet and exercise.

januvia

Uses

What is Januvia used for?

Januvia is used together with an appropriate diet and exercise program and possibly with other medications to control high blood sugar. Managing high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems.

How should I take Januvia?

Januvia should not be used if you are classified as type 1 diabetic, in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis, or if you are allergic to sitagliptin.

Take one Januvia tablet by mouth with or without food, as prescribed by your doctor. It is best to take the dose at the same time each day, before or after a meal.

You will need to have your blood sugar checked time after time, and you may need other blood tests as well.

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. Make sure you always keep a source of sugar with you in case you have low blood sugar. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use a glucagon injection.

You should 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.

How do I store Januvia?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Januvia® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of sitagliptin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Januvia?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • An allergy to any of active or inactive ingredients of Januvia or other medications.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • In a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Januvia?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Januvia: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Some people may experience joint pain, bullous pemphigoid, or skin erosions and blisters.

Stop taking Januvia and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of pancreatitis: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, or fast heartbeats.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Serious autoimmune reaction: itching, blisters, breakdown of the outer layer of skin
  • Little or no urinating
  • Swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath
  • 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 side effects may include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose, sore throat
  • Headache, back pain, joint or muscle pain
  • Nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Januvia?

Januvia may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Take extra precautions if you are currently taking digoxin or cyclosporine.

Does food or alcohol interact with Januvia?

Januvia may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

You should avoid alcohol because it may affect blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Both hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur, depending on how much and how often you drink.

What health conditions may interact with Januvia?

Januvia may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Renal Dysfunction

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Monotherapy or combination therapy w/ metformin, sulfonylurea, insulin (w/ or w/o metformin), PPARγ agonist, metformin plus sulfonylurea or metformin plus PPARγ agonist

Take 100 mg per day

Dose adjustments for renal impairment

  • Mild impairment: no dose adjustment is necessary.
  • Moderate impairment: reduce the dose to 50 mg per day.
  • Severe renal impairment: reduce the dose to 25 mg per day.

What is the dose for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Januvia available?

Januvia is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Film-coated tablet 25mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Januvia https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/januvia Accessed May 31, 2021

Sitagliptin https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/sitagliptin Accessed May 31, 2021

Sitagliptin https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/sitagliptin/ Accessed May 31, 2021

Januvia https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/021995s019lbl.pdf Accessed May 31, 2021

Januvia https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/EPAR/januvia Accessed May 31, 2021

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated May 31
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