In 2017, Americans spent $327 billion on diagnosed diabetes. They also spent $237 billion on their medical needs.
With millions of diabetes patients in the US, there are a variety of medications available for patients. The standard drugs available in the US include Acarbose, Dapagliflozin, Glimepiride, Bromocriptine mesylate and others.
In addition to these, there is a prescription medication known as Januvia, which can treat type 2 diabetes.
In this post, we’re going to cover more about this diabetes medication. Keep on reading to learn more.
What is Januvia?
Also known as Sitagliptin, this is a prescription medicine that patients use together with physical activity and diet to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Patients with type 1 diabetes can’t use this medication.
Also, it’s not for patients with diabetic ketoacidosis. Keep in mind that it’s a prescription medication. So, your doctor will prescribe it only if it’s the right option for you.
This drug works well when your blood sugar level is high, and it works less when your blood sugar is low. It works by using the body’s own ability to decrease blood sugar levels. The main ingredient, sitagliptin, helps to increase natural substances known as incretins in the body.
Incretins boost the production of insulin to help in controlling blood sugar. These substances also decrease the amount of sugar in the liver.
However, you shouldn’t worry about the possibility of getting hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when taking this drug alone. This is because the drug works less if your blood sugar level is low. Still, you need to be cautious.
Talking to Your Doctor
As noted before, you’ll only get this medication after your doctor’s assessment. If you have had pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis) or kidney problems, you may not be given this drug.
Your doctor will also want to know other medical conditions you have.
Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to be pregnant. It’s not known if Januvia will harm your unborn baby, but it’s better to be safe by informing your doctor. He or she can recommend other alternatives for controlling your blood sugar.
If you’re breastfeeding, you still need to inform your doctor.
Patients also need to talk to their doctor about all their current medications, including non-prescription and prescription drugs, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
How to Take Your Medication
It’s advisable to take this medication once a day as recommended by your doctor. You can take it with or without food.
While taking your medication, your doctor will carry out several blood tests to assess the performance of your kidneys. This is important especially when you’re taking other diabetes medicines. There is a possibility of getting low blood sugar.
If you skip your daily dose, just remember to take it as soon as possible. However, if it’s nearly the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose, but stick to your schedule. Don’t take two doses of Januvia.
If you overdose, reach out to your doctor as soon as possible.
When you’re suffering from a condition, such as trauma, fever, or an infection, your dosage may need to change. Your doctor should help you determine the new dosage for you.
Remember to maintain the recommended diet and exercise schedule as you use this drug.
Possible Side Effects
If you take Januvia with other medications, you’re likely to suffer from low blood sugar. Example of medications that can lead to this includes insulin and sulfonylurea. Your doctor may need to lower your dose of insulin and sulfonylurea while taking this drug.
Possible signs and symptoms of low blood sugar are hunger, irritability, headache, weakness, and confusion. Others include dizziness, drowsiness, sweating, fast heart rate, and jittery sensations.
You can also experience serious allergic reactions, such as hives, rash, and swelling. If you experience them, stop your medication and reach out to your doctor. You may be given medication for your allergy.
Some of the common side effects patients report are a headache, stuffy nose, sore throat, and upper respiratory infection. This medication may also have others effects, such as diarrhea, stomach upset, and swelling of the legs or hands.
Keep in mind that these are not all the side effects. If you notice any signs and symptoms while taking the drug, call your doctor for medical advice.
Important Safety and Drug Information
Januvia 100 mg tablets can lead to serious side effects if patients fail to adhere to the suggested guidelines. Patients suffering from pancreatitis can experience severe side effects or even death.
If you experience pain in the abdomen, stop your medication. The pain may spread from your abdomen to your back. Cases of vomiting can also accompany it. In most cases, these are usually signs of pancreatitis.
You also need to tell your doctor if you have ever had heart failure or kidney problems. If you take this drug and you have ever had heart failure, you can experience several symptoms, such as unusual fatigue, weight increase, fluid retention, and difficulty breathing.
Some people who take this medicine can develop severe joint pain or a skin reaction known as bullous pemphigoid. Contacting your doctor whenever you notice such cases is necessary.
Store your drugs at 68°F to 77°F and remember to keep them away from children. Do not use your medication for a condition that it’s not prescribed for. Also, don’t share your medicines with other patients, even if they have the same condition.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition wherein your body does not produce adequate insulin. Also, even if it produces insulin, it does not work the way it should be. This is why your doctor may need to prescribe Januvia to help control your diabetes symptoms.
The most important factor is to determine if this medication is ideal for you. Adhering to your doctor’s advice is also important. If you experience any symptoms when using these tablets, be sure to call your doctor immediately.
You can save cost on your recurring prescriptions by comparing your drugs online. Be sure to check some of the top online pharmacies you can use to get your medications.