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How does Januvia help patients with type II diabetes?

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Updated on April 8, 2016

If you are a Type II diabetes patient who has trouble controlling their blood sugar, Januvia is an option worth trying. Instead of insulin and other intravenous options, Januvia is an oral medication you take daily. While you can’t do away with those constant sugar checks, it goes a long way towards regulating your fluctuating blood sugar.

How does Januvia work?

Januvia is a DPP-4 inhibitor, a class of diabetes medication that works with the (surprise!) DPP-4 protein; this protein helps with the body’s glucose metabolism.

With that said, Januvia works in two different ways. First it increases the body’s natural production of insulin to help stabilize your blood sugar. Then it decreases the sugar produced in the liver, helping to create a balance.

The way your body uses it depends on your current blood sugar. It works more when your blood sugar is high and less when it is low. While it cannot replace your entire diabetes regimen, it can help lower your need for rescue medications.

Is Januvia right for me?

First things first, Januvia is only for people with Type II diabetes, so if you have Type I, you are out of luck. Because it helps regulate insulin production, it is only useful for patients whose pancreas can still create it.

Also make sure to let your doctor know beforehand if you have or had any of the following conditions:

  • kidney disease
  • sitagliptin allergy
  • pancreatitis
  • high triglycerides
  • gallstones
  • a history of alcoholism
  • diabetic ketoacidosis

While it’s important to let your doctor know if you are pregnant or planning on become pregnant, it does not affect your unborn baby. Its effects on breast milk are still unknown though, so also make sure to let your doctor know if you are currently breastfeeding.

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What are normal side effects for Januvia? When should I worry?

First let’s start with the side effects that don’t warrant a call to your doctor:

  • runny, stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • back pain
  • mild to moderate joint or muscle pain
  • nausea and stomach pain
  • diarrhea or constipation

Next, let’s state the obvious: if you feel like you are experiencing an allergic reaction to Januvia, stop using it and contact your doctor immediately!

Also put in a call to your medical professional if you experience any of the following:

  • severe and constant joint pain
  • signs of pancreatitis (sudden abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting)
  • urinating infrequently
  • swelling
  • weight gain (seriously, it’s not a vanity thing. This can actually make your Type II diabetes’ symptoms worse!)
  • shortness of breath
  • severe skin reaction

To find deals on diabetes medications, check out and browse for your prescription.Regardless of severity, if any of these side effects become unbearable, don’t be afraid to tell your doctor. Medication should help you feel better, not worse.