Januvia and Metformin are both antidiabetic medications that are used to control high blood sugar in people with diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition where a person cannot make enough insulin or use it properly. Insulin is a natural hormone that is produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. This naturally occurring hormone works by transporting glucose into the body tissues where it is stored and used for energy. Glucose is a form of sugar which is one of the main sources of energy for the body. Without insulin, glucose cannot get into the cells. This leads to a build up of glucose in the bloodstream, which, if not treated, could lead to life threatening conditions. People with type 2 diabetes and a valid prescription can take Januvia and Metformin as a combination medicine together with exercise and diet to control blood sugar levels. However, you should not take these medications to treat type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas produces little or no insulin as a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the beta cells.

What is Januvia?

Januvia is the brand name of sitagliptin and works by regulating the amount of insulin that is produced after taking a meal. You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to sitagliptin or in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. This medication is not supposed to be taken by anyone who is below the age of 18. You can take it with or without food.

What is Metformin?

Metformin is an oral diabetes drug which is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Metformin is the brand name of glucophage. This medication can be taken in combination with other diabetic medications to control blood sugar levels. The medication works in the body by reducing the amount of glucose that is produced in the liver and decreasing glucose absorption by the intestines. This drug is only a part treatment that also includes exercise, diet, and weight control.

How you should take these medications

Januvia and Metformin should be taken with meals to reduce the risk of stomach upset. Make sure you take these medications as it is prescribed by your doctor. The extended release tablets are normally taken with the evening meals. Do not chew, crush or break an extended release tablet. Instead, you should swallow it whole. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions, including the meal plan. This is a crucial part in helping you manage your diabetes. Also, make sure you exercise regularly and test your blood sugar, including other blood tests as it is directed by your doctor.

The drugs dosage

The dosing of Januvia and Metformin will be different depending on the patient. Make sure you carefully follow the instructions on the prescription label. You should not increase or decrease your dosage without your doctor’s permission. The number of doses you take every day, including the amount of time allowed between dosage will vary depending on your response to treatment and medical condition. For Januvia and Metformin immediate release, patients that are not currently treated with Metformin should take 500mg metformin and 50mg januvia twice every day. For the extended release, patients not currently treated with Metformin should take 1000 mg metformin and 100 mg januvia once every day. In case you missed a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your normal dosage.

Side effects

The drugs can lead to serious side effects, such as lactic acidosis. This medical condition can worsen and become fatal. In case you experience the following symptoms, you should stop taking these medications and seek medical help:

  • Weakness
  • Muscle pain
  • Light headed
  • Stomach pain
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing

They can also lead to allergic reactions, with symptoms such as hives, swelling of tongue, lips and throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop taking this medication and seek medical treatment immediately.

Common side effects of taking these medications include:

  • stomach upset
  • weakness
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • runny nose

You may also experience serious side effects when you take Januvia and Metformin.

Symptoms of serious side effects include:

  • Little or no urination
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Severe joint pains
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Swelling of your tongue, or face

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.