Selective dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4 inhibitors)

Examples

Generic Name Brand Name
sitagliptin Januvia
sitagliptin and metformin Janumet

Janumet is a combination medicine that contains sitagliptin and metformin.

How It Works

Medicines that contain DPP-4 inhibitors, such as Januvia and Janumet, lower blood sugar.

  • Especially after a meal, when blood sugar is high.
  • Between meals.

Januvia and Janumet lower high blood sugar (glucose) levels after a meal or between meals. They do this by helping your body make more insulin after a meal. They also reduce how much blood sugar your body makes.

Why It Is Used

Januvia and Janumet are used to lower blood sugar in people who have type 2 diabetes. They may be taken alone or along with other medicines to control blood sugar.

How Well It Works

Januvia and Janumet can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin control in people who have type 2 diabetes.

Side Effects

The most common side effects that may occur with Januvia include:

  • An upper respiratory infection.
  • A stuffy or runny nose and sore throat.
  • A headache.

The most common side effects that may occur with Janumet include:

  • Stomach pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Flatulence.
  • Nausea.
  • A metallic taste.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Before taking Januvia or Janumet, tell your doctor if you:

  • Have any allergies.
  • Have kidney problems.
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, because Januvia may not be right for you.
  • Are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.

People who took this medicine found that they did not gain weight.

Continue to test your blood sugar, especially 2 to 3 hours after a meal and after fasting, to see how the medicine is working.

Talk with your doctor if you have:

  • A fever.
  • An injury.
  • An infection.
  • A recent surgery.
  • New symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or belly pain.

If you have any of these, your medicine may need to be changed.

You may need to stop taking Janumet temporarily before major surgery or other medical tests or procedures such as X-rays that use contrast dyes. Talk to your doctor beforehand.

Januvia and Janumet:

  • Have not been studied in children younger than 18 years of age.
  • Have not been studied with medicines known to cause low blood sugar, such as sulfonylureas or insulin.
  • May be prescribed if other medicines have not worked well for you or if for some reason you cannot take other medicines.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

Last Updated: July 22, 2009

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