What is Januvia (Sitagliptin)?

Januvia is a brand name for sitagliptin, an active medical ingredient that works by controlling high blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). T2D refers to a chronic condition where the body does not produce enough insulin or it becomes resistant to it. As a result, people with T2D experience high blood sugar levels when they do not receive treatment. This medication works by increasing the release of incretin by the intestine. Incretin is a natural hormone which works by increasing the level of insulin when the blood glucose level is too high, and by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the body. This helps to control blood glucose levels. Januvia can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes drugs. However, this medication should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes, a condition where the pancreas does not produce insulin as a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the necessary beta cells. This is because the drug works by improving the body’s ability to properly utilize the insulin it already makes. The drug is only part of a treatment program which also includes diet, exercise and weight control. You should not use the drug to treat type 2 diabetes if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis or you are allergic to sitagliptin.

Does Januvia result in weight loss?

Studies show that type 2 diabetes patients who are obese do experience weight loss as a result of taking Januvia. However, the amount of weight that is lost on average has been shown to be little. Taking this medicine alone, without adopting a healthy lifestyle such as regular exercise and diet, does not result in weight loss. People who took this medication and did exercise and follow a healthy diet lost significantly more weight. So how does it cause weight loss? It is not yet established how this medication causes or aids weight loss. However, this medication can be prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes who are obese to try and help them lose weight. The good news is that januvia does not cause weight gain, unlike many other type 2 diabetes medications.

Side effects

Remember that your doctor prescribed this medication because they believe that the benefit of taking this medication outweighs the risk. Januvia can lead to side effects such as allergic reactions with symptoms like hives, difficulty breathing and swelling of tongue, face, lip or throat. Taking this medication can also lead to pancreatitis. If you notice symptoms such as loss of appetite, fast heartbeat, nausea, or pain in upper stomach that spreads to your back, you should stop taking this medication and seek medical help immediately.

Common side effects include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Back pain
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Muscle pain
  • Stomach pain

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.