New DPP-4 Inhibitor Drugs
The US Food and Drug Administration, FDA, approved the use of Januvia™, a new oral medicine to control Type 2 Diabetes, which offers additional advantages that allow people to achieve optimal control over their blood glucose and Hemoglobin A1c levels.
By Joe Cardozo
Januvia, from Merck labs and whose generic name is Sitagliptin, is the first of a new generation of drugs aimed at the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, which offers several advantages over other types of oral medications currently available on the market.
Januvia is the first of a new class of oral medications called DPP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase IV), which are inhibitors that reactivate the body’s own ability to decrease blood glucose levels.
Januvia is a medicine that has to be taken once a day to be able to control Type 2 Diabetes, in conjunction with a prescribed diet and physical activity.
What are the advantages of Januvia for controlling Diabetes?
- It only has to be taken once a day and decreases blood sugar levels only when these are high, especially after meals.
- It reduces the amount of glucose produced by the body.
- It decreases the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose level) because it doesn’t work when blood sugar levels are low.
- Unlike other oral medications, Januvia isn’t related with weight gain or fluid retention.
“For millions of people with type 2 Diabetes, who have inadequate control of their blood sugar levels, the approval of Januvia by the FDA represents a major advance in the fight against Diabetes and its complications,” said wheel Dr. Steven Galson at a press conference, director of the FDA’s Drug Evaluation and Research department, adding “Now we have another option to treat this disease in a whole new way, which can help patients gain better control over their glycemia levels”.
How to take Januvia?
- Take it orally once a day, with or without food.
- If you forget to take it, take it as soon as you remember.
- If you remember too late or when it’s time to take the dose on the following day, don’t take it. Never take a double dose of Januvia.
- If you take excessive doses of Januvia, contact your doctor immediately.
Important recommendations about DPP-4 inhibitors
Its use hasn’t been yet approved in people under 18, and sufficient studies haven’t been carried out on the use of Januvia in combination with other medications that can cause hypoglycemia, such as sulfonylureas or insulin, which is why it’s very important to tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including vitamins and nutritional supplements.
Depending on what your doctor decides, Januvia can only be taken by itself or with certain drugs. If you have kidney problems, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of Januvia and may periodically perform additional tests to check how your kidneys are working.
If you are pregnant or are thinking of having a baby, don’t Januvia as its effects on a baby aren’t yet known, not only during pregnancy but also during lactation.
Don’t take Januvia, if you have Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent)
Galvus™ from Novartis Laboratories is the second drug of this type (DPP-4 inhibitors) which will be released to the market. Januvia and Galvus will compete with other types of oral medication such as thiazolidinediones or TZDs, which are used to decrease insulin resistance.
At Diabetes Up to Date we celebrate this new treatment option for Diabetes
At Diabetes Up to Date we are very pleased to know that thousands of scientific institutions around the world are conducting research to seek new Diabetes treatments, so optimal glucose and A1c hemoglobin control can be achieved in an easier, safer, more comfortable and effective way, which will undoubtedly lead to a better quality of life.
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