Posted: 10/10/2017

Januvia and Janumet: What’s the difference?

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Living with Type 2 Diabetes can be a challenge, but a balance of diet and exercise and the right prescription medication can make life much easier.  Januvia and Janumet are two oral medications that can help lower blood sugar in adults with Type 2 Diabetes.  Lowering blood sugar in this condition can save you from health problems in the future including kidney and heart issues.  

Januvia vs. Janumet

The main acting ingredient in Januvia is Sitagliptin.  Sitagliptin increases the production of GLP-1 and GIP hormones in your body. These hormones are responsible for helping to lower blood sugar and stimulating insulin production in your pancreas.  This insulin is essential to keeping your blood sugar from getting too high or too low.  

Janumet is actually made up of two drugs, Sitagliptin and Metformin. Like in Januvia, the sitagliptin produces insulin, while the addition of Metformin helps to control the amount of glucose in your blood.  Metformin lowers the amount of glucose you take in from your food and increases your body’s response to insulin.  Some patients may already be taking Metformin on its own, but the addition of the Sitagliptin helps to lower blood sugar even more.  

If you are unable to take Metformin, Januvia can be a great and safer option.  A balanced diet and regular exercise are key while taking both of these medications.  Consult your doctor to develop a diet and exercise plan that will be easy to maintain long term.  Neither medication should be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and consistent exercise.  

Side Effects

 

Serious side effects may occur, which is why it is essential to talk to a doctor before taking either medication.  Be sure to alert your doctor of previous medical conditions, especially pancreatitis, kidney problems, and liver problems.  If you develop severe stomach pain that will not go away while taking either drug, that could be a symptom of pancreatitis, and you should stop taking the drug right away and call your doctor.  

 

Severe allergic reaction symptoms may occur such as rashes, hives, or swelling, and if these occur stop taking the drug right away and call your doctor.  

 

Common minor side effects may occur including cold-like symptoms such as a sore throat, upper respiratory infection, runny nose, headache, and more. While taking Janumet nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting may also occur. Some minor side effects may occur at the onset of taking the drug and subside as you continue your course of treatment.  

 

Neither drug has been found to cause weight gain.  

 

Drug Safety

 

Be careful taking Janumet and Januvia with other drugs that lower blood sugar.  You increase your risk of lowering your blood sugar too much and becoming hypoglycemic.  Symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, shortness of breath, irritability, hunger, weariness, and confusion.

 

It is best to consult your doctor before taking either drug if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. While studies on animals have not found taking these drugs to be a risk, there has not been an adequate amount of studies on women to determine the level of safety.  It is unknown if these drugs will harm your fetus while pregnant or your baby while breastfeeding, so work with your doctor to determine if this is the best way to lower your blood sugar.  

 

Metformin, the added ingredient in Janumet, can cause a severe side effect called lactic acidosis, the buildup of lactic acid in your blood.  Lactic acidosis can be fatal.  If you are a binge drinker or someone who drinks very often, you may have a higher chance of developing lactic acidosis.  Consult with your doctor before drinking while on this medication.  Prior kidney or liver problems may also contribute to lactic acidosis.  

 

Your doctor may want to perform blood tests before and during taking this medication to monitor kidney functions and insulin production.  Based on these results, your doctor may adjust your dosage.  

 

Januvia can be taken with or without food. It is recommended to take Janumet with food to avoid an upset stomach.  

 

Thinking of Switching or Stopping?

 

It is very important to consult with your doctor before stopping your medication.  It is essential to stay on schedule with your medication and never miss a dose. If you do miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.  Do not take two doses at the same time. If you take too much, call your doctor or a poison control center right away.  

 

You can find coupons and discounts on both Januvia and Janumet on our website.  

 

By Hannah Solow

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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