Why is this medication prescribed?
Sitagliptin is used along with diet and exercise and sometimes with other medications to lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes (condition in which blood sugar is too high because the body does not produce or use insulin normally). Sitagliptin is in a class of medications called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. It works by increasing the amounts of certain natural substances that lower blood sugar when it is high. Sitagliptin is not used to treat type 1 diabetes (condition in which the body does not produce insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood).
Over time, people who have diabetes and high blood sugar can develop serious or life-threatening complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, nerve damage, and eye problems. Taking medication(s), making lifestyle changes (e.g., diet, exercise, quitting smoking), and regularly checking your blood sugar may help to manage your diabetes and improve your health. This therapy may also decrease your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes-related complications such as kidney failure, nerve damage (numb, cold legs or feet; decreased sexual ability in men and women), eye problems, including changes or loss of vision, or gum disease. Your doctor and other healthcare providers will talk to you about the best way to manage your diabetes.
How should this medicine be used?
Sitagliptin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take sitagliptin at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take sitagliptin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Sitagliptin helps to control high blood sugar but does not cure diabetes. Continue to take sitagliptin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking sitagliptin without talking to your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking sitagliptin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to sitagliptin or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: digoxin (Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin); insulin; and certain oral medications for diabetes including acetohexamide, chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glimepiride (Amaryl), glipizide (Glucotrol, in Metaglip), glyburide (Diabeta, Glycron, Micronase), tolazamide (Tolinase), and tolbutamide. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol and if you have or have ever had diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious condition that may occur when blood sugar is too high), pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas), gallstones, high levels of triglycerides (fatty substances) in your blood, heart failure, or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking sitagliptin, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking sitagliptin.
- talk to your doctor about what you should do if you get hurt or if you develop a fever or infection. These conditions may affect your blood sugar.
- talk to your doctor about the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and other complications of diabetes, what to do if you develop these symptoms, and how to prevent these conditions.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Be sure to follow all diet and exercise recommendations made by your doctor or dietician.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Sitagliptin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stuffed or runny nose
- sore throat
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking sitagliptin and call your doctor immediately:
- fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, ongoing pain that begins in the upper left or middle of the stomach but may spread to the back
- shortness of breath, rapid weight gain, or swelling of feet or ankles
- itchy skin, skin blistering or peeling
- joint pain
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat
- difficulty in breathing or swallowing
Sitagliptin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain tests before and during your treatment with sitagliptin. Your blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) should be checked regularly to determine your response to sitagliptin. Your doctor will also tell you how to check your response to sitagliptin by measuring your blood or urine sugar levels at home. Follow these instructions carefully.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Brand names of combination products
- Janumet® (containing Metformin, Sitagliptin)
- Juvisync® (containing Simvastatin, Sitagliptin)¶
- Steglujan® (containing Ertugliflozin, Sitagliptin)
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.