Januvia is a prescription drug used to help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. The medication works by increasing insulin production in response to meals and decreasing the amount of sugar that the liver produces. Common side effects of Januvia include headaches, a sore throat, and upper respiratory infections. The medication comes in the form of a tablet that is taken once a day.
(Click Januvia Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes Januvia?
The drug is made by Merck & Co., Inc.
How Does It Work?
Januvia is part of a class of diabetes medication called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. DPP-4 is an enzyme that breaks down incretin hormones. As a DPP-4 inhibitor, the drug slows down the breakdown of incretin hormones, increasing the level of these hormones in the body. It is this increase in incretin hormones that is responsible for the beneficial actions of Januvia, including increasing insulin production in response to meals and decreasing the amount of glucose (sugar) that the liver produces.
Because incretin hormones are more active in response to higher blood sugar levels (and are less active in response to low blood sugar), the risk of dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is low with this drug.
Effects of Januvia
There have been several studies conducted on the effects of using this drug to treat type 2 diabetes.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Information for healthcare professionals - acute pancreatitis and sitagliptin (marketed as Januvia and Janumet) (9/25/2009). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/DrugSafetyInformationforHeathcareProfessionals/ucm183764.htm. Accessed October 2, 2009.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed January 15, 2007.
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