Endocrine System Home > What Is Sitagliptin Used For?
What is sitagliptin used for? The drug can help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin production after meals and decreasing the amount of sugar the liver produces. It can help decrease your chances of developing problems related to high blood sugar, such as diabetic nephropathy. There are no off-label conditions that sitagliptin is used for.
What Is Sitagliptin Used For? -- An OverviewSitagliptin (Januvia®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. The medication is often used when blood sugar cannot be controlled by diet and exercise alone.
Using Sitagliptin for Type 2 DiabetesType 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. This is a condition in which the cells of the body do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the cells do not take sugar out of the blood very well. This is why people with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar.
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to a number of problems, including diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease. The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role.
Sitagliptin is used for treating type 2 diabetes in people who cannot lower blood sugar sufficiently through lifestyle changes (weight loss, diet, and exercise). The drug is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor. This is an enzyme that breaks down incretin hormones. As a DPP-4 inhibitor, sitagliptin slows down the breakdown of incretin hormones, increasing the level of these hormones in the body. It is this increase that is responsible for the beneficial actions of sitagliptin, including increasing insulin production in response to meals and decreasing the amount of glucose (sugar) that the liver produces. These effects work in combination to lower blood sugar.