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Januvia and Low Blood Sugar

Januvia is a medication that along with diet and exercise is prescribed to lower blood sugar in patients with Type 2 diabetes. However, it can cause blood sugar to go too low when it is taken at the same time as other agents that also lower blood sugar. These include insulin and drugs in a class called sulfonylureas that also are used to decrease blood sugar in some Type 2 diabetes patients.

Sometimes, if a patient takes both Januvia and a sulfonylurea, the latter needs to be decreased to prevent the blood sugar from going too low.

Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar are:

  • Headache
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Increased hunger
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Sweating
  • Feeling jumpy

A patient who experiences these symptoms should contact their physician. If a patient with Type 2 diabetes takes both blood-sugar-lowering medications, the doctor will probably do blood tests both before and during treatment to monitor blood sugar levels in addition to determining how well the kidneys are working.

How Januvia Works to Lower Blood Sugar

The amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood rises after you eat. In response to food, cells in your pancreas produce the hormone insulin to help metabolize the sugar.

In people with Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or is not able to use it properly to keep their blood sugar at optimum levels. In addition, the liver in diabetic patients continues to produce sugar at higher levels than needed. Januvia helps increase the pancreas' production of insulin and decrease the production of sugar in the liver.

Some people have an allergic reaction to Januvia. They develop hives or a rash, and their lips, tongues or faces may swell. If this serious reaction happens, patients should stop taking the medication at once and promptly call their doctor. The medication also may harm kidney function. These patients might need kidney dialysis. The most common adverse reactions to Januvia are colds, a stuffy or runny nose, headache and sore throat.

Studies have shown there may be an association between taking Januvia and developing pancreatic cancer. Research is continuing to be done to determine whether there is a link. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while taking Januvia, you should consider speaking with one of our Januvia lawyers to find out if you qualify for financial compensation. To schedule a consultation, please contact us today.

Januvia® (sitagliptin) is a Type 2 diabetes medication manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc. Januvia® is a registered trademark of Merck & Co., Inc.

Januvia® News

  • Januvia Sales Drop for the Quarter

    May 1st, 2013

    Sales of Merck's Januvia, a diabetes medication and the company's biggest seller, dropped for the first quarter of the year. The news, which was reported May 1, was surprising, Reuters said. Merck also lowered its full-year forecast today. Merck sales for the quarter dropped 9 percent to $10.7 billion, according to reports. That number is well below the $11.09 billion the market was expecting. The drug company... read more

  • Public Citizen Urges FDA to Ban Januvia Because of Cancer Risk

    April 15th, 2013

    Dr. Sidney Wolfe, Director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, issued a statement last month, addressing the risk of precancerous changes in the pancreases of diabetic patients who use diabetes drugs Januvia (sitagliptin), Byetta (exenatide) and Victoza (liraglutide). According to the statement, Drs. Alexandra Butler and Peter Butler of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and colleagues published a study in the journal "Diabetes," showing... read more