What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking sitagliptin if you have:
- Kidney problems, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- A history of pancreatitis (inflammation or infection of the pancreas)
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Januvia and Pregnancy)
Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings for Sitagliptin to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
How Does Sitagliptin Work?Sitagliptin is part of a class of diabetes medications called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. DPP-4 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.
Because incretin hormones are more active in response to higher blood sugar levels (and are less active in response to low blood sugar), the risk of dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is low with sitagliptin.
Clinical EffectsSeveral studies have been conducted on the effects of sitagliptin for type 2 diabetes, namely with regards to hemoglobin A1c and blood sugar levels.