Januvia tablets contain the active ingredient sitagliptin, which is a type of medicine called a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor. It is used to treat people with type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM).
Sitagliptin works by increasing the amount of two incretin hormones found in the body, called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP). These hormones are normally produced naturally by the body in response to food intake. Their function is to help control blood sugar (glucose) levels.
GLP-1 and GIP have four main actions that help to control blood glucose.
Firstly, they stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin in response to increasing levels of glucose in the blood. (Insulin is the main hormone responsible for controlling sugar levels in the blood. It causes cells in the body to remove sugar from the blood.)
GLP-1 also reduces the production of glucagon. (Glucagon is a hormone that normally increases glucose production by the liver.)
GLP-1 and GIP also reduce the rate at which food passes from the stomach into the intestines, which slows down the absorption of glucose from the gut into the bloodstream. Finally, they act on the brain to cause a feeling of fullness that reduces further food intake.
GLP-1 and GIP are normally broken down by an enzyme in the body called dipeptidyl peptidase 4. Sitaglipin works by binding to this enzyme and preventing it from breaking down the GLP-1 and GIP. This increases the levels of these hormones in the body and so increases their effect on controlling blood sugar.
Januvia can be used on its own to improve blood sugar control in people whose blood sugar is not controlled by changes to their diet and exercise alone and who can't take metformin.
Januvia is also used for people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar is not sufficiently controlled by other antidiabetic medicines. It can be added to treatment with metformin, a sulphonylurea (for example gliclazide) or another type of antidiabetic medicine known as a thiazolidinedione (for example pioglitazone or rosiglitazone). It can also be used for people who are using insulin.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
Sitagliptin may cause a small increase in the amount of digoxin in the blood when both medicines are being taken together. If you are taking digoxin, your doctor may want you to have regular blood tests to monitor the amount of digoxin in your blood after you start treatment with this medicine.
Medicines that increase blood sugar levels as a side effect may make this medicine less effective at controlling blood sugar. Medicines that can increase blood sugar levels include the following:
Your doctor may want to monitor your blood sugar if you start or stop treatment with any of these while taking this medicine, and if necessary your doctor may alter your dose of this medicine.
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain sitagliptin as the only active ingredient.
Janumet contains sitagliptin in combination with metformin.