Selective dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4 inhibitors)

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Selective dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4 inhibitors)


Generic NameBrand Name
sitagliptin and metforminJanumet

Janumet is a combination medicine that contains sitagliptin and metformin.

How It Works

Medicine that contains DPP-4 inhibitors, such as Januvia, lowers blood sugar.

  • Especially after a meal, when blood sugar is high.
  • Between meals.

Januvia lowers high blood sugar (glucose) levels after a meal or between meals. It does this by helping your body make more insulin after a meal. It also reduces how much blood sugar your body makes.

Why It Is Used

Januvia is used to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It may be taken alone or along with other medicines to control blood sugar.

How Well It Works

Januvia can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin control in people with type 2 diabetes.

Side Effects

The most common side effects that may occur with Januvia include:

  • An upper respiratory infection.
  • A stuffy or runny nose and sore throat.
  • A headache.

The most common side effects that may occur with Janumet include:

  • Stomach pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Flatulence.
  • Nausea.
  • A metallic taste.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Before taking Januvia, tell your doctor if you:

  • Have any allergies.
  • Have kidney problems.
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, because Januvia may not be right for you.
  • Are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.

People who took this medicine found that they did not gain weight.

Continue to test your blood sugar, especially 2 to 3 hours after a meal and after fasting, to see how the medicine is working.

Talk with your doctor right away if you have a fever, an injury, or an infection, or if you have recently had surgery. Your medicine may need to be changed.

You may need to stop taking Janumet temporarily before major surgery or other medical tests or procedures such as X-rays that use contrast dyes. Talk to your doctor beforehand.


  • Has not been studied in children younger than 18 years of age.
  • May be prescribed if other medicines have not worked well for you or if for some reason you cannot take other medicines.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised November 3, 2009

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.