Januvia: The Fight Against Diabetes

Humans have been bearing the brunt of diabetes for a long time. The struggle has once again undergone major changes in treatment strategy, as instances of the disease are on the rise. Records estimate half of US adults are diabetic, or are likely to be. As numbers skyrocket, concerns about its prevention, treatment or management are also observed.

Januvia, a brand of oral antidiabetic agent containing the active drug “sitagliptin”, is one of the most recent additions in the fight against diabetes. This once-daily oral pill was approved by the US FDA for use in the treatment of Type II diabetes. Remember to follow dietary guidelines and exercise instructions while using this medication, as lifestyle modifications are an inseparable part of any diabetes treatment strategy.

How does Januvia help you in the fight against Diabetes?

Januvia is a medication of the category, “incretin mimetics.” As the name suggests, these medications including Januvia mimic the action of incretins to produce desired results in patients with Type II diabetes. Incretins are a group of hormones that work to stimulate secretion of insulin by the beta cells of the pancreas in response to the food you eat. It is an oral antidiabetic pill that shows its blood glucose regulating action by influencing the secretion of insulin. You should not take Januvia if you have Type I diabetes or a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis.-

Is it safe to take Januvia for Type II diabetes?

Safety and efficacy are the two most important parameters that decide if a medication can be used in the general population or not. Also, questions regarding the medication’s safety and efficacy have more prominence, if it has just been marketed. Similar is the case with Januvia. You can be skeptical when using a recently approved medication, as there is little data are available on the long term safety of these products. Your concern is reasonable and understandable. More post-marketing studies and reports of unusual side effects will gradually shape the safety profile of Januvia in the future.

The medication is considered safe, at least for now, and has been approved by the US FDA for marketing. The common safety concerns of Januvia include pancreatitis and severe allergic reactions (Anaphylaxis). Until now, it’s been unclear if using the medication in a patient who previously had an inflamed pancreas is safe or not. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you ever had pancreatitis before taking this medication. Allergic reactions can happen with any medication, hence reporting the signs of the allergy to a doctor as early as possible, is the key in handling drug allergies.

In case you experience any serious effects that were not mentioned in drug labels, you can report them to the US FDA.

The bottom line

Diabetes is a long term disease which requires continuous medical as well as non-drug therapies to keep blood glucose in check, and to minimize the risk of complications. You must follow proper diet and exercise irrespective of the medication you are taking. Do not forget the 3D’s of diabetes treatment:

  • Diet (Proper nutrition)
  • Drug (Medication)
  • Dance (Exercise)

Related: What are the Myths About Diabetes Diets

As medical science advances and pharmaceutical manufacturers spend billions in the quest for better diabetes medications, we can expect radical changes in the fight against diabetes in the future.

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