What is Januvia (Sitagliptin)?

Januvia is a brand name of sitagliptin and is used to treat people with type 2 diabetes. This oral diabetes medication works by regulating the amount of insulin that is secreted by the pancreas. Sitagliptin mimics the action of DPP-4 or dipeptidyl peptidase 4 enzyme in our bodies. This medicine inhibits DPP-4 enzyme which destroys GIP and GLP hormones, thus allowing both these hormones to function properly. Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and GIP are secreted by the intestines and help to control blood sugar levels. Taking this medication together with adopting a proper exercise and diet plan can help you control high blood sugar levels, thus reducing the risk of health complications such as nerve damage and kidney problems. Januvia can be prescribed together with other diabetes drugs to help effectively manage high blood sugar levels. However, this medication should not be used to treat people with type 1 diabetes.

Januvia and alcohol consumption

Taking januvia and alcohol together can affect your blood glucose levels. It is important you inform your doctor if you drink alcohol before they prescribe you to take it. When you use alcohol together with this drug, it may result in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) depending on how much alcohol you are taking. Symptoms of high blood sugar include dry mouth, increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, dry mouth and fruity breath. Moderate consumption of alcohol may not affect your blood glucose levels if your diabetes is properly controlled, but it is not advised. However, it is still important you reduce your daily intake of alcohol if you have diabetes.

Drinking more alcohol than is recommended, and feeling like you need it is known as alcohol dependence, which could lead to adverse health complications. You should avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach or after a heavy exercise routine since it can lead to hypoglycemia.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include

  • sweating
  • shakiness
  • dizziness
  • hunger
  • headache
  • anxiety

In case you are suffering from these symptoms, you can treat them quickly by eating food with sugar or carbohydrates. However, if you feel like these symptoms are affecting you and will not go away, call your doctor for advice. Your doctor may advise you to avoid taking alcohol in case your blood sugar levels are not properly controlled, if you have pancreatitis, nerve damage or high triglycerides.

Side effects

It is recommended you only drink moderate alcohol to reduce the risk of side effects such as hypoglycemia. You should not use this medication if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. In case you experience allergic reactions as a result of taking Januvia, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of allergic reactions include

  • hives
  • swelling
  • difficulty breathing
  • swelling of the tongue, throat or lips.

Serious side effects include

  • shortness of breath
  • severe joint pain
  • weight gain
  • urinating less or no urine at all

If  you experience severe negative effects, you should stop taking januvia and call your doctor immediately.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.