Much Ado About Januvia: What It Doesn’t Do

Lots of press recently about Merck’s brand spankin’ new Type 2 diabetes drug, Januvia. Patients seem to like it. The EU likes it. So Wall Street likes it, too.  What is so wonderful about this new oral with the Shakespearean name?Happy_pill_1

Here’s what I found out, explained from my extremely laymen’s point-of-view:

In addition to insulin, our bodies release certain “incretin hormones” called GLP-1 and GIP.  In a healthy body, the ideal amount is released from your gut in response to the amount and type of food you ingest.  The role of these hormones is to “increase insulin response to a meal”  by suppressing glucagon release (which is good, since glucagon’s job is to raise your blood glucose).  In people with Type 2 diabetes, GLP-1 and GIP levels are below normal, and — big AND — they are intercepted by an enzyme called DPP-4.

This is where Januvia (sitagliptin) comes in. It works to inhibit the DPP-4 that breaks down the GLP-1 and GIP. Got that? 

So far, the only other drug on the market that aids (or rather mimics) the action of GLP-1 is Byetta, aka exenatide, which over 500,000 people are now taking, according to authorities.  (Not counting Januvia’s up-and-coming rival from Novartis, called Galvus — currently still under FDA review).

In a nutshell, these drugs are part of an emerging class of “incretin-based” therapies that block the DPP-4’s destructive function, allowing the incretins to live a long and happy life –- and hopefully fulfill their mission of recharging the beta cells.  What this means for patients is better regulation of BG levels, since the incretins trigger beta cell insulin secretion and impede glucose production by the liver.

Still, I had to ask, why is so much better than all the therapies we’ve already got?  It appears Januvia trumps all the others in terms of “tolerability,” meaning you feel better on it, don’t gain weight, don’t tend to go low (hypoglycemia), and don’t experience indigestion, heart problems, or swelling. Oh joy!  And this translates into less troubles for Merck, of course, with fewer patients calling to complain :)

To lay it on the table, here’s a rundown of the drawbacks of most Type 2 diabetes drug choices. Read ‘em and weep:

• sulfonylureas (Glipizide, Glyburide) – can cause hypoglycemia, weight gain, and gastrointestinal (GI) distress
• metformin – can cause mild nausea, diarrhea, and gas (aka GI distress)
• TZDs (thiazolidinediones, ie. Actos, Avandia) – can cause weight gain, swelling, and congestive heart failure
• insulin – can cause weight gain and hypoglycemia

So now you want Januvia, right?  ah! There is one drawback: The pricetag! Currently over $4 per pill without insurance, and reimbursement is still up in the air.  Well… just think of all the money you’ll save on Weight Watchers and Rolaids.

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118 Responses

  1. Pat
    Pat August 9, 2007 at 9:38 am | | Reply

    I have taken Januvia for about 4 months…my doctor says ” as a precaution”…it did not do anything to my bloodsugars.I did have some headaches at first…a1c 5.8 with and 5.8 w/o meds of any kind…I eat low carb and I read that you have to eat carbs for it to work??..so I have stopped..my ins. pays most but I was fearful anyway…after reading this..NO WAY!!! ps I told my doc I was fearful of a new drug..he said we will know more in a year!!! We are guinea pigs!!!

  2. Earl
    Earl August 9, 2007 at 11:06 pm | | Reply

    I am back to report that I have developed an odd skin reaction to Januvia. The skin on my hands is pealing quite regularly, but nothing major. Very small spots of skin just come loose and peal off. I verified it by stopping the Januvia for a week (skin stopped pealing) and starting it again last week. (Skin back to pealing again). It is not painful and only mildly annoying.

  3. Gloria in Oxnard
    Gloria in Oxnard August 13, 2007 at 1:43 am | | Reply

    I recently stopped Amaryl and Actos which caused me to have constant problems with low BS and weight gain. I have started Januvia-2 weeks and no side affects of any kind so far. BS is about 100-125. So happy to not have the low BS and symptoms. I had to carry sugar tabs and worry when I would sleep at night. Januvia seems to be working great so far.

  4. Pam
    Pam August 17, 2007 at 7:30 pm | | Reply

    I have been on Januvia since Feb. 12, of this year. 100mgs a day, brought my A1c down from 7.3 to 6.5, glucose was 125 dropped to 94 in 6 months. But last blood draw my A1C was up to 6.7 and my glucose was up to 114.
    I was having BS drops bad. My Doctor dropped my Januvia from 100mg, to 50mg a day. Now my blood sugar is runing in the high 140′s every morning.
    I have had swelling in the feet and hands real bad, more in my hands. I also get nauseated after I eat carbs, expecially pasta’s.

  5. Earl
    Earl August 19, 2007 at 12:33 pm | | Reply

    *Second Update*
    I have begun noticing that the Januvia is no longer effective in controlling my high BS levels as it is in limiting my low BS levels… As a matter of fact, either it is my imagination, or my Avg. BS has gone up… I see less and less reason to continue taking it.

  6. Sandy
    Sandy August 21, 2007 at 9:00 pm | | Reply

    I’m a Type 2 diabetic, 10 years now. I’ve had most of the side effects that many have mentioned, but I didn’t start the Januvia until today. The last three months have been miserable: carb nausea, leg pain, night sweats, bouncing bloodsugars, feet swelling, increasingly tired,and HUNGRY 24 hours a day. Maybe my increasing symptoms have been due to the natural progression of long term Type 2. Tried Avandia and Diabeta, both with bad results. I’ve exercised until I’m exhaused, ate so much lettuce I feel like a rabbit, drank so much water feel like a fish. So now I’m desperate enough to try this new drug Januvia. No bad side effects today, good results in my after supper BG level. And it’s bedtime and I’m NOT HUNGRY !!. Got my fingers crossed, wish me luck.

  7. Patty
    Patty August 24, 2007 at 8:23 am | | Reply

    I have hesitated with this drug because of the extreme cost. It has taken a couple of weeks to show any impact on my bs, but for 3 days it has been under 190 (it had averaged 210 prior.)I had attributed the night sweats to my post-menopausal state and I can certainly live with them if this lowers my bs. I’ll let you know if this works for me. (No weight loss yet, darn it.)

  8. Jay Hettiarachchy
    Jay Hettiarachchy August 25, 2007 at 5:10 am | | Reply

    Old age is not necessarily a disease. As we get up there, we may have to do life-style changes. Avendia, Metformin, Januvia could be quick fixes for symptoms. But the source of the problem is never addressed or “cured” by these quick fixes. All drugs cause side effects. There are no miracle drugs. If drug companies produce drugs that “cure”, they will go out of business!! Medical science is also an “imperfect science.” Remember the time when you sent your son or daughter to medical school?

    This applies to any and all ailments that humans suffer from. Don’t get me wrong. We need to go for “fixes” when we are really “broken.” But we all need to have a long-term plan to control our life-style as we grow old.

    Most of the time it is the drug that kills a person, NOT the disease.

    We all need to grow old gracefully, enjoy good weather, sunshine,nature, and be able to connect ourselves with the gifts of nature and not be surrounded by cabinets filled with drugs that keep us “drugged” in our old age!.

    Best

  9. Sue Goodell
    Sue Goodell August 25, 2007 at 1:18 pm | | Reply

    update from July 6, as with Earl on 8/19 posting, over the past week I have had increased blood sugars and am believing the Januvia is no longer working. I have once again resorted to sliding scale insulin which is the whole reason I started the drug–to not use the insulin and the subsequent weight gain that causes. This is very discouraging as thus far the symptoms appear to be less that Avandia.

  10. Teri
    Teri August 26, 2007 at 7:47 am | | Reply

    I have been on Januvia or Janumet for over one month. Juat this week I have noticed my bs elevated in the AM and also swelling of my left ankle, muscle aches in legs, back and arms. I have swelling in my hands and water retention along with shortness of breath. I have decided to stop Janumet today.

  11. Tim
    Tim August 28, 2007 at 8:34 pm | | Reply

    I have been taking Januvia for about 3weeks and have had a little bit of a headache. I have noticed that my appetite is less. Which is a good thing but as far as weight loss I have seen none because I am still on Actos, and generic amaryl as well as metaformine. I think the headache may be blood pressure related because I am on a new bp med. It is very low does but who knows. Has anyone had problem with this new drug raising blood pressure?

  12. Kris
    Kris September 2, 2007 at 5:15 pm | | Reply

    I changed from metformin & glyburid to Janumet 4 weeks ago. After two weeks I developed severe pain from one side of my neck down to my collar bone. It was quite scary. The symptoms would improve some by the time it was time to take more and then the pain would become unbearable within an hour or two. So I Dropped to one 500/50 a day but numbers went up. My readings are lower on Janumet and most days I have extra energy that I didn’t have on the other meds. It’s a tough decision, but the pain is making me lean toward putting up with simpler side effects that come from metformin & glyburid.

  13. Jay Hettiarachchy
    Jay Hettiarachchy September 5, 2007 at 6:38 am | | Reply

    Could anyone tell me how these wonder drugs work inside our body biochemically?

    As far as I know most medical doctors are practitioners who are not necessarily fascinated with biochemistry and/or nutrition. I believe doctors complete a few credit hours of nutrition in their curricula. Medical schools do not simply have time for this stuff… Someone wants to correct me on this. Our sons and daughters and students eventually become doctors anyway to take care of the next generation…

    The day I was given Januvia for the second time by a second doctor, I decided to have garlic and keep away from eating animals, and do 30 minutes of exercise daily. So far I maintain a blood sugar reading between 100-110 NOT in 120s or 130s as before. Thanks garlic.. I do not care very much as to how garlic tastes or smells, I can live with that!! I do not like to live with the side effects of drugs, especially when I do not know how they work biochemically in my body.

    Best

  14. barbara
    barbara September 10, 2007 at 7:14 am | | Reply

    Have tried Januvia twice. Each time I have experienced sore throat & upper respiratory issues. This second try symptoms are much worse. I will NOT take this drug again!

  15. Michelle blessedwith3boys
    Michelle blessedwith3boys September 14, 2007 at 10:40 am | | Reply

    Hi I found this website through a Google search on Januvia. My husband is a diabetic and currently on Glucophage and Actos plus Vytorin for cholesterol and is suppose to be on Mycardis for somewhat high blood pressure. The diabetes specialist wants him to take Januvia for a while to but it’s very pricey as we have no insurance. After reading all these comments do I really want to put him on it? Can’t they just make a cure for diabetes? He can’t be on insulin because he’s a truck driver. Thanks for this website. I’ll come back when I have time and read bunches more.

  16. Donna K.
    Donna K. September 14, 2007 at 8:34 pm | | Reply

    For several years I have controlled my Diabetes with Avandia and Glucatrol XL, which worked great for me and kept me in the 80 to 120 BS range much of the time though I could go up briefly after a meal. I averaged about 115 before breakfast and my H1C tended to be from 5.8 to 6.0 since I did a lot of walking each day and watched my diet. I did gain weight after a huge loss at first when I changed my lifestyle, but I never went back to original weight and am still 20 pounds lower than that (I was 20 pounds lower than this at one point).

    I was put on Januvia 100 mg in place of the 8 mg of Avandia. In both cases I cut my pills as I find it better to take smaller doses before breakfast and before dinner. However, on Januvia my fasting level went to 128 to 145 or so after being used to having it around 120 or less. Cutting the Januvia and taking half of it with dinner helps some. However, I also had muscle aches, mild headaches, a sore throat, and respiratory problems on Januvia that did not previously exist. I wanted to give it a chance, but my doctor told me to go back to the Avandia until she can see me. I did want Januvia to work, but so far, it does not seem to be other than to give me symptoms of a mild case of flu. I am not really sure which is best. I have to pay a $30 copay with my insurance which is not bad, but I want to be as much like a non-Diabetic as possible without debilitating side effects.

  17. ron
    ron September 15, 2007 at 3:21 pm | | Reply

    I have been on januvia for 2 weeks. I am now getting headaches,sinus area, that are medium in intensity. Also, a slight sore throat that returns every day; plus a felling of flushing about my face, in particular, my lips. What is up with this drug? With metformin I had no noticable side effects. Just a new Med. for the medical/pharma complex to push?

  18. victor ang
    victor ang September 17, 2007 at 9:18 am | | Reply

    I am now on Avandia( 1 x daily) ,Glyburide ( 1x)and Metformin (2x daily). Is Januvia approved by the Canadian Government

  19. victor ang
    victor ang September 17, 2007 at 9:18 am | | Reply

    I am now on Avandia( 1 x daily) ,Glyburide ( 1x)and Metformin (2x daily). Is Januvia approved by the Canadian Government

  20. Brian
    Brian September 18, 2007 at 6:51 am | | Reply

    I have been Taking Januvia 100 mg
    a day for 3 months now and my BS havw been lower then ever. It does not upset my stomach like everything thing else does.
    I do have runny nose and my headaces went away so I wil stick with it for now!

  21. Jay Hettiarachchy
    Jay Hettiarachchy September 21, 2007 at 6:04 am | | Reply

    Hi

    I have been looking at this site and reading what most BS drug users have to say about the drugs that they take and the side effects that they are bombarded with.

    I find this site useful to find out what patients have to say about their good/bad experiences. I like to know the users view rather than the doctor’s view. This is because the users are the ones who use the drugs and go through the side effects (suffering), NOT the doctors or Pharmaceutical companies.

    By reading most postings, I see that more than 90% of drug (medication)users seem to have problems with the drugs that they take. So why take them?

    I will tell you what I do:
    1. I do not take any pops, I drink water (good water)
    2. I exercise religiously
    3. I do not eat animals
    4. I do not watch violent movies, I enjoy the nature, sunlight, fresh air
    5. I enjoy good music
    6. I do not make other’s problems, especially those in your family, my problems and let those problems to drag me down to the grave. That does not mean that I do not help them, I do that without allowing those problems to compromise my health.

    Last but not least, I control my health myself, I do not allow doctors or drug companies to do that. You do not have to be a medical doctor to do that, you could see them to get their advice when you are in doubt, but you do not have to sell your soul to anyone, because it belongs to you my friends! But, just like managing your money, you need to manage your own health by learning about the most important things on prevention rather than trying to go for quick fixes.

    Sounds like a sermon? Well let it be….

    These are not hard things to do. Try them. You acquired your disease symptoms over a long period of time. You have to spend a lot more time to snap out of the symptoms.

    Best

  22. Boris
    Boris October 3, 2007 at 6:28 am | | Reply

    In May 1999 my physician diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes. He prescribed the usual oral pharmaceuticals, Metformin and Amaryl, apart from the advice to eat more conscious and take part in outdoor activities. All together I could control my BS quite well and even could have some tidbits here and there. My weight at 1,77 m then was some 82 kg (whatever this may be in pounds). Still a few kg’s over the ideal, but at my age (55 years) acceptable.
    The fact is, that type 2 diabetes is never to become better and so in 2004 I ended up having one shot of Lantus a day.
    The obvious occurred: slowly but steadily gaining weight. I tried to counter this by eating less and less, fighting hunger 24/7. About 2 months ago I was at 99,5 kg and almost gave up hope. Rather fat than dealing with kidney, eye and whatever disease.
    One day I have seen a feature about Byetta and have immediately seen my (new) physician. He had no experience with Byetta as it was only released in Germany some months ago. But he has 2 more patients taking Januvia. So he suggested Januvia for a 1-month trial to replace Lantus injections.
    My BS was the same than with Lantus, although a bit higher in the morning but way lowers afternoons and evenings. Basically the same average of 6,0 (108). BUT I lost 4 kg in that first week with no ill side effects at all. After 3 weeks my physician and I discussed the relatively high readings in the morning. He suggested that I give Byetta a trial. I started on Byetta 5 on a Saturday. To make it short: I was violently ill the whole weekend. Headache, nausea short of vomiting etc. And the BS readings went totally gah-gah.
    I stopped taking Byetta talked to my physician who put me back on Januvia.
    I continued feeling well while having no hunger attacks any more, keeping my BS in check.
    Today, almost 2 months later, my weight dropped to 91 kg. I think -at least in my case- this stuff is absolutely great. And the German health insurance pays for the treatment, which costs about 60 EURO per month.

  23. Michelle Bowe
    Michelle Bowe October 8, 2007 at 5:35 pm | | Reply

    How long before you see results with the januvia?

  24. sue
    sue October 12, 2007 at 6:08 am | | Reply

    Hi…I restarted Januvia 3 weeks ago. Lo and behold! the leg pains from the knees to the ankles is back, tingling in the legs and ankles, coughing and runny nose.
    Once I stopped the drug last time all the side effects stopped within 2 days. Aching legs is not fun, runny nose I can handle, but not the legs and even into the knees. I have not done anything different since restarting Januvia, so I have to assume that IT is the problem. Will not take it tomorrow and see what happens again.

  25. Nancy
    Nancy October 14, 2007 at 12:29 pm | | Reply

    I started Januvia about three weeks ago at my doctor’s suggestion for insulin resistance and weight loss. Interestingly, she thought this would help even out my low blood sugar as it had helped in many of her other patients. She has used this for a year with other patients and has not seen the side effects mentioned here. The main one she has seen is constipation. I have not had any side effects at all in three weeks, except a decrease in hunger, which I gladly accept! When I was in for a two week check up, I had already lost eight pounds without making any changes in my habits at all. I was already trying to make healthy eating choices but was only losing about one to two pounds a month for the last two years. As someone else mentioned, everyone’s body is different, and medication works differently with everyone. But for me, so far, it has been wonderful. I don’t know if my insurance will cover it yet, as I’ve been using samples to see how I would react to it.

  26. Earl
    Earl October 18, 2007 at 7:06 am | | Reply

    I have taken Januvia on and off now for about 5 months. I made a few comments on this blog some time ago as well, mentioning the fact that it has stopped affecting my high BS at all… I figured I would report that I indeed stopped taking it for about 4 weeks, but then started it again just over 5 weeks ago when my doctor suggested we give it another try but at half the dose. Mostly to see if the odd skin reaction I was getting on my fingers would return and to see if my casual observations where correct before… This time though, I would pay close attention.

    Here is a recap of how things went.

    Daily Dose: Januvia 50mg(half a 100mg tab), 1000mg Metformin, 3mg Amaryl

    Weeks 1-3:
    AWESOME effect. My BS was between 85-90 in mornings, hovered around 85-100 between meals and no higher then 180 after the first hour or two of a large full carb meal (aprox 100g carbs or more) which I did occasionally to see the effect. After my casual work outs, consisting of about 30 minutes of inclined treadmill walking, my BS was below 90 *EVERY TIME* and sometimes below 85 making me feel Hypo. So I began eating a piece of bread (aprox 10g carbs) before my workouts to help stave off the hypo feelings… It was like a miracle drug… Just as it had been the previous two times I had taken it. This time at only half the dose I had been on before. And even better there was no skin reaction this time.

    Weeks 4-5:
    Diminished effect. My BS was between 90-110 in the mornings, hovering around 100-130 between meals, and would occasionally spike north of 180. A few times my BS was 195+ but it was unusual. I assumed it was because I was getting reckless due to the great BS control I was having and over eating too much. Also ‘after workout’ BS remained good (with bread before hand), between 90-100, and no signs of that odd skin reaction…

    Weeks 6+ (now):
    Nearly NO effect. My BS is between 120-140 in the mornings, hovering around 120-150 between meals, and spikes upwards of 240+ after ANY, and I mean ANY, meal with more then 20g of carbs. I can’t even eat a single sandwich with 2 pieces of wheat bread (aprox 20-24g carbs) without my BS spiking over 220. Not to mention the fact that yesterday I worked out on an EMPTY STOMACH (which I make a point never to do, but I had to find out if I was right) and my BS was 150 before, and 105 after. Having a BS of 105, after a work out, on an empty stomach, has rarely happened to me. Even before I started Januvia the highest I remember my BS ever being after an empty stomach workout was 111, and my before workout BS was upwards of 190… So I was not surprised then.

    Needless to say I was STUNNED yesterday.

    At this moment, as I am typing this message, my BS is 137 and I have eaten NOTHING all morning. Not a single bite of food now for over 12 hours. I took my morning medicine normally over two hours ago (before I came to work) and by now, even while I was not taking Januvia, my BS would be likely below 100. But it is 137…

    This has lead me to the simple conclusion that Januvia (at least for me) has a diminished return that takes just over a month for my body to adapt too and then completely ignore. At this moment I am highly confident that Januvia is having ZERO impact on my BS levels, and the only thing keeping my BS even mildly under control is the Metformin/Amaryl that I am taking at aprox half the dose I was *before* starting Januvia. Which I might add have been consistent performers from day 1.

    When I see my doc in two weeks I am making sure he understands my complete and utter disappointment in this *EXPENSIVE* drug. About the only thing different this time is the skin reaction never occurred… Yay??

  27. Earl
    Earl October 18, 2007 at 9:33 am | | Reply

    *** Correction ***
    Substitute Avandia for Amaryl in my above post. I had a brain fart earlier. I am taking Avandia in small dose for insulin resistance.

  28. Misty Tiberi
    Misty Tiberi October 31, 2007 at 12:23 pm | | Reply

    I have been taking Januvia for almost 2 months. I have done a lot of research on the side effects, but have not seen any mention of the side effect that I am getting.

    Every joint in my body is aching….to the point that it is difficult to lift up my arm.

    I would like to go off the medication now but I am concerned about what side effects occur in the process.

    Can anyone share with me if they have experienced joint pain or what happen when they stopped taking Januvia. Thanks

  29. Debby
    Debby October 31, 2007 at 3:59 pm | | Reply

    I’m considering starting januvia. I was given samples and a presciption at my doctors office. I just stopped taking metformin. I was taking 1000 mg twice a day. Two months ago I was told I only had 41% kidney function and I’ve been seeing a kidney specialist. My daughter researched my meds and at my third visit asked if the metformin could be the problem. He checked his book and took me off it on the spot. I feel like two doctors missed seeing this for maybe several years in the case of my PCP, now they want me to start Januvia and I’m afraid what it will do to my kidney. Any one have any info on this .

  30. Shirley
    Shirley November 4, 2007 at 4:08 pm | | Reply

    My x-physician put me on Glucophage and I almost died. She prescribed it for me in September and by the first of December, I was so ill I could not drive and could hardly make it up the stairs. I have been on Actos prescribed by a new doctor and she just changed me over to Januvia and so far, so good. Good luck to all Shirley

  31. Earl
    Earl November 7, 2007 at 1:21 pm | | Reply

    To: Misty Tiberi

    I have taken Januvia, been off of it, back on it, and off of it about three times in between prescription mistakes and the like and never had any negative effects from ‘stopping’ it. I only experienced a slight skin irritation after starting it each time at full 100mg dose. However the half dose has been symptom free for me. Though I am only in my 30’s.

    It seems most people here are experiencing widely different side effects that may, or may not, actually be related to Januvia.

    As for my above complain regarding Januvia’s diminished effects on my BS, it seems that regular exercise has an extremely dramatic effect on how Januvia works for me now. If I go any more then 3 days without a good work out, Januvia’s effects taper off. But a nice work out every other day keeps my average BS within acceptable range. (110-130) between meals. Now I have to work on both my appetite and pension for laziness!! :)

  32. Clinton
    Clinton November 14, 2007 at 7:02 am | | Reply

    I have been taking Januvia along with Actos & Metformin for about a month. My BG scores under Avandia: out of 1400, 800 were below 140 and 600 were above. I was switched to Actos, and out of 100 scores, 30 were below 140 and 70 were above (some WAY above). My doc refused to prescribe Avandia again, although I was willing to take the alleged risk (I do have a history of heart problems in my paternal line). Since adding the Januvia, I have experienced headaches and flu-like symptoms nearly every day, but BG scores are almost as good as the Avandia scores. I was diagnosed a few years ago as Type II and exercise (cycling) and light weight training seemed to do more for me than the 45-carb diet, which I found impossible to maintain. The loss of appetite is a plus for me, since I needed to drop some weight anyway, but I have to say that I have never felt really good since starting the Januvia. I have not experienced any swelling of joints so far, and I have an old ankle injury has never completely healed (or so I am told).
    Time will tell, but I am asking my doc today if I even need to keep taking the Actos. My insurance plan is about to change and Januvia is a ‘non-preferred’ maintenance drug on the new plan, so I will be paying more for the pleasure of feeling slightly sick all the time. I was quite happy on the Avandia, I could eat (with moderation) pretty much anything and still get good scores, as long as I stayed active.

  33. ANTHONY D.
    ANTHONY D. November 14, 2007 at 12:55 pm | | Reply

    I HAVE BEEN TAKING JANUVIA PURSUANT TO MY OWN RESEARCH. I DO NOTICE FREQUENT STOMACH PAIN AND NAUSEA,BUT IT SEEMS TO BE DOING THE JOB DURING THE DAY-ESPECIALLY IF I GET OUT OF MY OFFICE AND TAKE A WALK.AT NIGHT IT’S A DIFFERENT STORY-SOMETIMES THE NAUSEA PREVENTS ADEQUATE REST AND SLEEP. I WOULD ALS O LIKE TO KNOW,IF I DECIDE TO STOP TAKING THIS MEDICATION–MUST I WITHDRAW DOSAGE LITTLE BY LITTLE OR CAN I SIMPLY STOP. I CAN’T
    GET ANY FEEDBACK AND MY ENDO IS NOT AT ALL FAMILIAR WITH THIS DRUG AND WAS NOT AT ALL THRILLED THAT I WANTED IT- P.S. I NOW ALSO TAKE 1000mg OF METFORMIN AT NIGHT IN AN ATTEMPT TO LOWER MY WAKING #’S

  34. Hoyt
    Hoyt November 15, 2007 at 9:12 am | | Reply

    I was diagnosed in Nov. 1999 with type 2. Since then I have been on just about every diabetes med on the market. The only one that has consistently worked is Amaryl but it too is losing it’s effectiveness.

    I tried Januvia in Jan 2007 and I too came down with a major Flu just 3 days after starting and it lasted for 3 weeks until I stopped taking the Januvia. In desperation after trying several other meds that did nothing but give me side effects, I tried Januvia again just 6 weeks ago.

    The Dr. told me it would take 3 weeks to kick in. From day one I started getting dizzy spells and headaches but tried to overlook them because I was not having any of the side effects I had with the other meds, i.e leg cramps, difficult breathing, swollen feet, weight gain, vision loss, etc. My BS readings also increased from day one up to 175 – 215 fasting. I took it for 5 weeks and nothing changed. The Dr. told me to stop taking it immediately and increased my Amaryl to 8Mg p/day but even that has had very little effect. Still in the 150 – 170 range fasting.

    It was very interesting reading all the posts here and to those who were preaching to everyone else about how well they feel and what they think everyone else should do, I say you were not paying attention to all the posts.

    It is quite obvious that Januvia as well as most all the other diabetes drugs react differently with everyone.

    The correlation I like to use is if any of us take our car in to get it fixed because the steering is difficult and the mechanic tells us he fixed the steering but now it may not start in the morning, we would be outraged and it would not be acceptable and we would insist that he fix it correctly.

    Why then do we allow the pharmaceutical companies to do the same thing to our bodies?

    Instead of spending all our time and energy looking for blog sites to share our experiences, why don’t we all start to put pressure on our politicians to do something about what is happening. They need to start hammering these companies to start concentrating on how to cure the disease instead of how to put bandaids on it and cause other problems.

    How many of you have gotten side effects from any of your meds that the Dr. then turns around and prescribes another med to fix the side effect from the first med?

    It’s all about money as someone mentioned earlier in this blog, if they find a cure they won’t make the money they are now making with all these drugs that don’t work.

    Let’s not allow them to treat the symptoms any longer, let’s force them to attack the problem.

  35. Hoyt
    Hoyt November 18, 2007 at 7:16 am | | Reply

    I forgot to include a main point in my previous comments. The second time I tried Januvia, I came down with the flu again. Only this time it took four weeks for this to happen instead of the three days the first time I tried it. That was two times in 8 months I got the flu. I rarely get sick and it is even more rare that I ever get the flu. There is no doubt in my mind that the Januvia caused this!

  36. Sharon Scott
    Sharon Scott November 19, 2007 at 12:24 pm | | Reply

    I took Byetta for two months with terrible side effects – rash, itching, irritability and absolutely no sleep even with a sleeping pill. I switched to Januvia and now have tingling in my fingers and arm which I never had – also take Metaformin (Glucophage) which has never given me any side effects. Has anyone had these side effects with Januvia. Thanks.

  37. rich
    rich November 26, 2007 at 8:40 am | | Reply

    Why do all people who visit their doctors have diabetes? Your BS is too high! Your BS is too low! Tell the doctors to make up their minds. My doctor just recommended that I go on insulin right away. I think I’ll try Januvia first, can’t possibly be worse than taking all these shots every day.

  38. EMI
    EMI December 3, 2007 at 4:54 pm | | Reply

    Does anybody know when is the best time of the day to take Januvia? I want to minimize the after effect of the drug. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

  39. Lee
    Lee December 11, 2007 at 11:10 am | | Reply

    I’ve been taking Januvia since Sept. and i had developed severe sinuses lately and also some chills. I have stopped it the other day and my sinuses seem to be getting better. I am going back to Actos and Metformin. I have yet to try Byetta. Actos worked well for me, but it made me hungry. Januvia made me control my appetite.

  40. nette
    nette December 12, 2007 at 9:24 pm | | Reply

    have taken januvia for 6 months with wonderful results. lost 20 lbs. with med, diet changes, and exercize. no side effects from januvia. aic droped from 6.9 to 5.7 in 3 months.

  41. David
    David December 15, 2007 at 10:07 am | | Reply

    I just started taking Januvia and have been on it only one day. But after reading all these posts, I’m ready to throw in the towel and kill myself. Very discouraging

  42. JohnGM
    JohnGM December 23, 2007 at 8:06 pm | | Reply

    Been taking Januiva for 5 months and have experienced pins and needle pains in my hands. Doctor suspects its a side effect of Januiva that hasnt been reported. Anyone know anything about this side effect?

  43. Bob Melvin
    Bob Melvin December 25, 2007 at 1:51 am | | Reply

    I went on Januvia in June of 07 to get off Avandia. When I went back to the doctor in September, my blood sugar was running in the 100s and my A1C was 6.9. When I went back to the doctor in December, my A1C had shot to 13 and my blood sugars are currently running in the 300-400s. Obviously, Januvia is not working for me.

  44. JT
    JT December 28, 2007 at 6:01 pm | | Reply

    I took Avandia 4mg for 3 years with really good results. No side effects at all, rare drops and I had bs of 130-140 before breakfast. After a meal it would spike into the 180-200 range but would always come down in a reasonable period of time.

    When the Avandia scare hit, my new endo recommended I go off Avandia in favor of 100mg of the new “wonder” drug, Januvia. That was back in June. Now here I am six months later with bs that has gone completely out of control. My last bs reading – many hours after eating lunch – were higher than I ever had on Avandia, in the high 200′s. Clearly Januvia isn’t working! This is a wonder drug?? Plus, my co-pay monthly is a staggering $80 through Medicare!

    Anybody else seeing higher bs levels with Januvia??

  45. ANITA
    ANITA December 29, 2007 at 6:37 am | | Reply

    After I started Januvia I experienced two incidents that indicated that it may be effecting my heart. The first time I was doing something and suddenly began sweating profusely, felt nauseated and had a bm. The second time my whole body felt bloated. I walked from a parking lot into an office and was extremely out of breath and my right lung was bothering me. I stopped the Januvia and felt
    good since. My primary sent me to a cardiologist to be checked out and I am scheduled for an echocardiogram and stress test next week. The doctor said Januvia can cause heart failure and unmask heart problems that haven’t shown up yet. That is why I am having the tests.

  46. Belmont DeHaven
    Belmont DeHaven January 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm | | Reply

    I am on Januva and Actos Plus Metformin with questionable results.
    I’ve gained over 30 lbs and my Dr just sent me to a specialist.
    I’m also on Lantus.
    My numbers are up and down but generally arround 120***250
    I’m concerned!
    BUD

  47. Debra
    Debra January 13, 2008 at 1:44 pm | | Reply

    I have been on Janumet as of Aug. 07. It is Januvia/Metformin I have lost wt.and I am not as hungry as I was. I started on Januvia and had great results controlling BG. It went from high 200 to high 300. Now it is between 110 and 160 after eating. I also tried Byetta but had such bad reactions could not take anymore after just 1 dose. But I am having joint pains in legs and hip area. Was wondering if anyone else had simuliar problem?

  48. Beverly
    Beverly January 15, 2008 at 4:30 pm | | Reply

    I was all ready to ask my doctor about Januvia but after reading all the negative post here I think I better stick with my insulin. Maybe in a year or two after they get out the bugs I will be willing to try it. Thanks to all of you for posting the problems you are having. I already suffer from swelling and migrain headaches I don’t need to take a chance on something making them worse.

  49. Bill N
    Bill N January 18, 2008 at 7:59 am | | Reply

    3 months after switching to Januvia my liver count has increased significantly, life style has not. Occasional drinker after golf game. Had no problems with avandia for 5 years. am 62yrs. Any others notice a similar problem?

  50. Lee
    Lee January 25, 2008 at 8:51 am | | Reply

    The week of 911, I discovered I was a diabetic, felt fortunate to be “full of life”. Controlled through diet and exercise for 5 1/2 years. Went hiking on the Colorado trail last July (bg, had started to rise about 4 months earlier, in spite of me doing everything I could to control it). Was hiking approximately 12 to 15 miles a day on the trail. On the 4th day, I started throwing up and couldn’t stop. I thought I had altitude sickness but it turned out to stem from my diabetic condition. I almost died. Doctors put me on Lantus. actos for one month, and Januvia. With the actos I had swelling-I researched it and knew I wasn’t going to keep using it. My swelling went away after a month of not being on the actos. I take one shot of Lantus (8 units) and the Januvia. I don’t have any symtoms. I exercise for 45 minutes, two times a day (which I’ve done since I became diabetic). I eat very wise and healthy for a diabetic. My readings are, after hike, averaging 125 and before hike 225. I don’t want to be on any medicine but I’ll continue on and keep researching. I have started dividing my pill in half and taking two times instead of one pill one time. This has been very effective for me.

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