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What is Januvia medication and how to take it?

Januvia also is known by its chemical named Sitagliptin. It is used to manage type II diabetes. Sitagliptin belongs to a class that is quite a mouthful to pronounce. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors. It is typically shortened to DPP-4 inhibitors, and therefore throughout the course of this video, that is how I'll be referring to it.

Price of Januvia

The cost for Januvia oral tablet 100 mg is around $559 for a supply of 30 tablets, $1657 for a supply of 90 tablets, and $1840 for a supply of 100 tablets.

How does Januvia work?

Januvia works by indirectly improving insulin secretion. This it does by preventing a group of hormones called incretins from being destroyed. Now, these incretins are naturally occurring substances or compounds in the body that are released in response to food. Incretins cause an increase in insulin secretion. Now, these incretins are destroyed by these DPP-4 enzymes. So what Januvia does is that it stops this enzyme, this DPP-4 enzyme from inactivating or destroying the incretins. The result is that there is more circulating incretins in the body, leading to a sustained release or secretion of insulin for better glucose control.

Another way by which Januvia works is by suppressing glucagon. Now, glucagon is the hormone that is responsible for converting stored glycogen. The body typically stores sugar or glucose in the form of glycogen in the liver, and it is sometimes converted back into glucose by under the influence of this hormone glucagon. So Januvia, by stopping glucagon, prevents a scenario where there is more glucose released into the bloodstream by the liver, just because glucagon production has been suppressed and therefore it is not available to cause this conversion.


Januvia tablets are available in the following strengths:  

  • 25 milligrams (mg),
  • 50 mg,
  • 100 mg.

The dosage amounts of Januvia provided below are regularly used or suggested. However, always follow the dosage allotted to you by your doctor as it is unique to your circumstance. They will decide what amount best suits you after evaluating various factors.

Side Effects

Januvia is generally well tolerated, and side effects are typically mild. Some of the reported side effects include diarrhea, headache, sore throat, stomach upset, stuffy or runny nose, and in some cases, hypoglycemia. I must say that the hypoglycemia that is observatory Januvia typically occurs when Januvia is used in combination with other antidiabetic medications. Januvia just by itself rarely causes hypoglycemia, although it is possible, it is quite rare.


The first one is to report any rash that develops after starting Januvia. This is because Januvia has been associated with a condition called Stevens-Johnson syndrome. I must say, this is a very rare condition, but it has happened with people taking Januvia. So definitely a good idea to alert your doctor if you notice any rash after starting Januvia. Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a serious condition, and if it does happen, it requires medical attention.

Also, be sure to let your doctor know if there's any history of kidney disease. If there is kidney disease, it doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot take Januvia, however, they will typically start you on the lowest possible dose, which is 25 milligrams once a day. In rare cases also, Januvia has been associated with angioedema, which is an allergic reaction which may be characterized by swelling of the tongue, face, lips, sometimes difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing. So if you've previously experienced any of this, or for sure that you've had angioedema in the past, be sure to let your doctor know before they even start you on Januvia. Be sure also to report any persistent joint and muscle pain, which may be a sign of muscle injury.


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