What Is Sitagliptin and Metformin Extended-Release Used For?
By lowering blood sugar levels in adults, sitagliptin and metformin extended-release can be used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This combination medication works by increasing the amount of insulin produced in response to meals and decreasing the amount of sugar made by the liver. Sitagliptin and metformin extended-release may help avoid long-term diabetes complications, such as heart disease, eye problems, and kidney damage.
Sitagliptin and metformin extended-release (Janumet® XR) is a prescription medication approved to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. It should be used in combination with an appropriate diet and exercise program.
Diabetes is a chronic medical condition associated with high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. There is more than one type of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common. It used to be referred to as adult-onset diabetes. However, because of the growing obesity epidemic in the United States, the condition is becoming more common in children.
Glucose is an energy source for the body. The body gets glucose from the food we eat. After we eat a meal, glucose enters the bloodstream. The pancreas produces a hormone (insulin) that helps move the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body.
In people with diabetes, blood glucose levels are high either because the pancreas does not make enough insulin or because the cells in the body do not properly respond to it.
In most cases, type 2 diabetes happens in people whose pancreas makes enough insulin but the cells do not respond to it normally. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by producing more insulin. In time, however, it loses the ability to secrete enough insulin in response to meals.
Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage many of the organs in the body. This leads to a number of problems, including:
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Kidney damage
- Vision changes and possible blindness
- Nerve damage.
(Click Diabetes Complications to learn more about the long-term problems associated with this disease.)
The goal of diabetes treatment is to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk for health problems that can result from diabetes. Options include lifestyle changes and medications. Early in the disease, some people may be able to control their blood sugar levels or even reverse diabetes with weight loss, dietary changes, and exercise.
If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to effectively control blood sugar, medications may be added. It is important to keep in mind that medications cannot replace diet and exercise, but should instead be used in combination with an appropriate diabetes diet and exercise plan.
Several types of medications are used to treat diabetes. Sitagliptin and metformin extended-release is a combination product that contains two prescription diabetes medicines: sitagliptin (Januvia®) and metformin ER (Glucophage XR®, Glutametz®, and Fortamet®). Sitagliptin belongs to a group of medicines known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. Metformin is the only drug in the class known as biguanides.
Sitagliptin and metformin extended-release should not be used to treat people with type 1 diabetes, as it will not work. It should also not be used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication that can occur in people with diabetes when acids known as ketones build up in the blood.