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Januvia

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/28/2017
Januvia Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 8/28/2017

Januvia (sitagliptin) is an oral diabetes medicine for people with type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Januvia is sometimes used in combination with other diabetes medications, but is not for treating type 1 diabetes. Many people using Januvia do not have serious side effects. Side effects that may occur with Januvia include:

Although Januvia by itself usually does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), low blood sugar may occur if Januvia is prescribed with other anti-diabetic medications. Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Januvia including pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fast heart rate), urinating less than usual or not at all, swelling, weight gain, shortness of breath, or severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads [especially in the face or upper body] and causes blistering and peeling).

The recommended dose of Januvia is 100 mg once daily. Januvia may interact with digoxin, probenecid, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin or other salicylates, sulfa drugs, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or beta-blockers. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. During pregnancy Januvia should be used only when prescribed. Pregnancy may cause or worsen diabetes. Your doctor may change your diabetes treatment during pregnancy. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Januvia (sitagliptin) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Januvia Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking sitagliptin and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • pancreatitis - severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fast heart rate; or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat;
  • headache, back pain, joint or muscle pain; or
  • nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Januvia (Sitagliptin Phosphate)

Januvia Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In controlled clinical studies as both monotherapy and combination therapy with metformin, pioglitazone, or rosiglitazone and metformin, the overall incidence of adverse reactions, hypoglycemia, and discontinuation of therapy due to clinical adverse reactions with JANUVIA were similar to placebo. In combination with glimepiride, with or without metformin, the overall incidence of clinical adverse reactions with JANUVIA was higher than with placebo, in part related to a higher incidence of hypoglycemia (see Table 3); the incidence of discontinuation due to clinical adverse reactions was similar to placebo.

Two placebo-controlled monotherapy studies, one of 18-and one of 24-week duration, included patients treated with JANUVIA 100 mg daily, JANUVIA 200 mg daily, and placebo. Five placebo-controlled add-on combination therapy studies were also conducted: one with metformin; one with pioglitazone; one with metformin and rosiglitazone; one with glimepiride (with or without metformin); and one with insulin (with or without metformin). In these trials, patients with inadequate glycemic control on a stable dose of the background therapy were randomized to add-on therapy with JANUVIA 100 mg daily or placebo. The adverse reactions, excluding hypoglycemia, reported regardless of investigator assessment of causality in ≥5% of patients treated with JANUVIA 100 mg daily and more commonly than in patients treated with placebo, are shown in Table 1 for the clinical trials of at least 18 weeks duration. Incidences of hypoglycemia are shown in Table 3.

Table 1: Placebo-Controlled Clinical Studies of JANUVIA Monotherapy or Add-on Combination Therapy with Pioglitazone, Metformin + Rosiglitazone, or Glimepiride +/-Metformin: Adverse Reactions (Excluding Hypoglycemia) Reported in ≥5% of Patients and More Commonly than in Patients Given Placebo, Regardless of Investigator Assessment of Causality*

Monotherapy (18 or 24 weeks) Number of Patients (%)
JANUVIA 100 mg Placebo
  N = 443 N = 363
Nasopharyngitis 23 (5.2) 12 (3.3)
Combination with Pioglitazone (24 weeks) JANUVIA 100 mg + Pioglitazone Placebo + Pioglitazone
  N = 175 N = 178
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 11 (6.3) 6 (3.4)
Headache 9 (5.1) 7 (3.9)
Combination with Metformin + Rosiglitazone (18 weeks) JANUVIA 100 mg + Metformin + Rosiglitazone Placebo + Metformin + Rosiglitazone
  N = 181 N = 97
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection 10 (5.5) 5 (5.2)
Nasopharyngitis 11 (6.1) 4 (4.1)
Combination with Glimepiride (+/- Metformin) (24 weeks) JANUVIA 100 mg + Glimepiride (+/- Metformin) Placebo + Glimepiride (+/- Metformin)
  N = 222 N = 219
Nasopharyngitis 14 (6.3) 10 (4.6)
Headache 13 (5.9) 5 (2.3)
* Intent-to-treat population

In the 24-week study of patients receiving JANUVIA as add-on combination therapy with metformin, there were no adverse reactions reported regardless of investigator assessment of causality in ≥5% of patients and more commonly than in patients given placebo.

In the 24-week study of patients receiving JANUVIA as add-on therapy to insulin (with or without metformin), there were no adverse reactions reported regardless of investigator assessment of causality in ≥5% of patients and more commonly than in patients given placebo, except for hypoglycemia (see Table 3).

In the study of JANUVIA as add-on combination therapy with metformin and rosiglitazone (Table 1), through Week 54 the adverse reactions reported regardless of investigator assessment of causality in ≥5% of patients treated with JANUVIA and more commonly than in patients treated with placebo were: upper respiratory tract infection (JANUVIA, 15.5%; placebo, 6.2%), nasopharyngitis (11.0%, 9.3%), peripheral edema (8.3%, 5.2%), and headache (5.5%, 4.1%).

In a pooled analysis of the two monotherapy studies, the add-on to metformin study, and the add-on to pioglitazone study, the incidence of selected gastrointestinal adverse reactions in patients treated with JANUVIA was as follows: abdominal pain (JANUVIA 100 mg, 2.3%; placebo, 2.1%), nausea (1.4%, 0.6%), and diarrhea (3.0%, 2.3%).

In an additional, 24-week, placebo-controlled factorial study of initial therapy with sitagliptin in combination with metformin, the adverse reactions reported (regardless of investigator assessment of causality) in ≥5% of patients are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Initial Therapy with Combination of Sitagliptin and Metformin: Adverse Reactions Reported (Regardless of Investigator Assessment of Causality) in ≥5% of Patients Receiving Combination Therapy (and Greater than in Patients Receiving Metformin alone, Sitagliptin alone, and Placebo)*

  Number of Patients (%)
Placebo
N = 176
Sitagliptin (JANUVIA) 100 mg QD
N = 179
Metformin 500 or 1000 mg bid
N = 364†
Sitagliptin 50 mg bid + Metformin 500 or 1000 mg bid†
N = 372†
Upper Respiratory Infection 9 (5.1) 8 (4.5) 19 (5.2) 23 (6.2)
Headache 5 (2.8) 2 (1.1) 14 (3.8) 22 (5.9)
* Intent-to-treat population.
† Data pooled for the patients given the lower and higher doses of metformin.

In a 24-week study of initial therapy with JANUVIA in combination with pioglitazone, there were no adverse reactions reported (regardless of investigator assessment of causality) in ≥5% of patients and more commonly than in patients given pioglitazone alone.

No clinically meaningful changes in vital signs or in ECG (including in QTc interval) were observed in patients treated with JANUVIA.

In a pooled analysis of 19 double-blind clinical trials that included data from 10,246 patients randomized to receive sitagliptin 100 mg/day (N=5429) or corresponding (active or placebo) control (N=4817), the incidence of acute pancreatitis was 0.1 per 100 patient-years in each group (4 patients with an event in 4708 patient-years for sitagliptin and 4 patients with an event in 3942 patient-years for control). [See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Hypoglycemia

In all (N=9) studies, adverse reactions of hypoglycemia were based on all reports of symptomatic hypoglycemia. A concurrent blood glucose measurement was not required although most (74%) reports of hypoglycemia were accompanied by a blood glucose measurement ≤70 mg/dL. When JANUVIA was coadministered with a sulfonylurea or with insulin, the percentage of patients with at least one adverse reaction of hypoglycemia was higher than in the corresponding placebo group (Table 3).

Table 3: Incidence and Rate of Hypoglycemia* in Placebo-Controlled Clinical Studies when JANUVIA was used as Add-On Therapy to Glimepiride (with or without Metformin) or Insulin (with or without Metformin), Regardless of Investigator Assessment of Causality

Add-On to Glimepiride (+/- Metformin) (24 weeks) JANUVIA 100 mg + Glimepiride (+/- Metformin) Placebo + Glimepiride (+/- Metformin)
  N = 222 N = 219
Overall (%) 27 (12.2) 4 (1.8)
Rate (episodes/patient-year)† 0.59 0.24
Severe (%)‡ 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)
Add-On to Insulin (+/- Metformin) (24 weeks) JANUVIA 100 mg + Insulin (+/- Metformin) Placebo + Insulin (+/- Metformin)
  N = 322 N = 319
Overall (%) 50 (15.5) 25 (7.8)
Rate (episodes/patient-year)† 1.06 0.51
Severe (%)‡ 2 (0.6) 1 (0.3)
* Adverse reactions of hypoglycemia were based on all reports of symptomatic hypoglycemia; a concurrent glucose measurement was not required; intent-to-treat population.
† Based on total number of events (i.e., a single patient may have had multiple events).
‡ Severe events of hypoglycemia were defined as those events requiring medical assistance or exhibiting depressed level/loss of consciousness or seizure.

In a pooled analysis of the two monotherapy studies, the add-on to metformin study, and the add-on to pioglitazone study, the overall incidence of adverse reactions of hypoglycemia was 1.2% in patients treated with JANUVIA 100 mg and 0.9% in patients treated with placebo.

In the study of JANUVIA as add-on combination therapy with metformin and rosiglitazone, the overall incidence of hypoglycemia was 2.2% in patients given add-on JANUVIA and 0.0% in patients given add-on placebo through Week 18. Through Week 54, the overall incidence of hypoglycemia was 3.9% in patients given add-on JANUVIA and 1.0% in patients given add-on placebo.

In the 24-week, placebo-controlled factorial study of initial therapy with JANUVIA in combination with metformin, the incidence of hypoglycemia was 0.6% in patients given placebo, 0.6% in patients given JANUVIA alone, 0.8% in patients given metformin alone, and 1.6% in patients given JANUVIA in combination with metformin.

In the study of JANUVIA as initial therapy with pioglitazone, one patient taking JANUVIA experienced a severe episode of hypoglycemia. There were no severe hypoglycemia episodes reported in other studies except in the study involving coadministration with insulin.

Laboratory Tests

Across clinical studies, the incidence of laboratory adverse reactions was similar in patients treated with JANUVIA 100 mg compared to patients treated with placebo. A small increase in white blood cell count (WBC) was observed due to an increase in neutrophils. This increase in WBC (of approximately 200 cells/microL vs placebo, in four pooled placebo-controlled clinical studies, with a mean baseline WBC count of approximately 6600 cells/microL) is not considered to be clinically relevant. In a 12-week study of 91 patients with chronic renal insufficiency, 37 patients with moderate renal insufficiency were randomized to JANUVIA 50 mg daily, while 14 patients with the same magnitude of renal impairment were randomized to placebo. Mean (SE) increases in serum creatinine were observed in patients treated with JANUVIA [0.12 mg/dL (0.04)] and in patients treated with placebo [0.07 mg/dL (0.07)]. The clinical significance of this added increase in serum creatinine relative to placebo is not known.

Postmarketing Experience

Additional adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of JANUVIA as monotherapy and/or in combination with other antihyperglycemic agents. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is generally not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, angioedema, rash, urticaria, cutaneous vasculitis, and exfoliative skin conditions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]; hepatic enzyme elevations; acute pancreatitis, including fatal and non-fatal hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE; WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]; worsening renal function, including acute renal failure (sometimes requiring dialysis) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]; severe and disabling arthralgia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]; bullous pemphigoid [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]; constipation; vomiting; headache; myalgia; pain in extremity; back pain; pruritus.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Januvia (Sitagliptin Phosphate)

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