Sitagliptin

Sitagliptin lowers blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. It increases the amount of insulin produced by the body. It is important you stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program.

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Pharmacist Teresa Brucker, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Sitagliptin
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Pharmacist Teresa Brucker, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Sitagliptin
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Pharmacist Teresa Brucker, Pharm.D. summarizes the uses, common side effects, and warnings for the DPP4 inhibitors class of medications

Sitagliptin Overview

Updated: 

Sitagliptin is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults.

Sitagliptin belongs to a group of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, which help lower blood sugar levels.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day, with or without food.

Common side effects include upper respiratory infection, stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea, and diarrhea.

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Sitagliptin Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Sitagliptin

Sitagliptin is a prescription medicine used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Sitagliptin Brand Names

Sitagliptin may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Sitagliptin Drug Class

Sitagliptin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Sitagliptin

Pancreatitis. Serious side effects have occurred with sitagliptin use including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) which may be severe and lead to death. Stop taking sitagliptin and call your doctor right away if you have pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that is severe and will not go away. The pain may be felt going from your abdomen through to your back. The pain may happen with or without vomiting.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). If you take sitagliptin with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea or insulin, your risk of getting low blood sugar is higher. The dose of your sulfonylurea medicine or insulin may need to be lowered while you use sitagliptin. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include:

  • headache
  • drowsiness
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • irritability
  • hunger
  • fast heart beat
  • sweating
  • feeling jittery

Serious allergic reactions. If you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, stop taking sitagliptin and call your doctor right away. Your doctor may give you a medicine for your allergic reaction and prescribe a different medicine for your diabetes.

Kidney problems, sometimes requiring dialysis have occurred in people taking sitagliptin. 

The most common side effects of sitagliptin include:

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

Sitagliptin may have other side effects, including:

  • stomach upset and diarrhea
  • swelling of the hands or legs, when sitagliptin is used with rosiglitazone (Avandia). Rosiglitazone is another type of diabetes medicine.

Sitagliptin Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take digoxin (Lanoxin), insulin, other medicines to treat diabetes. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medicines or monitor you carefully for side effects.

Sitagliptin Precautions

If you experience severe and persistent joint pain, contact your doctor right away. Do not stop taking your medication. Your doctor will decide if your medication is the possible cause of severe  joint pain and will discontinue the drug if appropriate.

Do not take sitagliptin if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in sitagliptin.

Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction to sitagliptin may include:

  • rash
  • raised red patches on your skin (hives)
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing

Tell your doctor if you have or have had inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems or any other medical conditions.

Sitagliptin Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of sitagliptin there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before you take sitagliptin, tell your doctor if you:

  • have or have had inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis).
  • have kidney problems.
  • have any other medical conditions.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if sitagliptin will harm your unborn baby. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about the best way to control your blood sugar while you are pregnant.

  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if sitagliptin will pass into your breast milk. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you are taking sitagliptin.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take digoxin (Lanoxin), insulin, other medicines to treat diabetes. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medicines or monitor you carefully for side effects.

Sitagliptin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Sitagliptin falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with sitagliptin. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.

 

Sitagliptin and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is not known if sitagliptin is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Sitagliptin Usage

  • Take sitagliptin 1 time each day  or exactly as your doctor tells you.
  • You can take sitagliptin with or without food.
  • Your doctor may do blood tests from time to time to see how well your kidneys are working. Your doctor may change your dose of sitagliptin based on the results of your blood tests.
  • Your doctor may tell you to take sitagliptin along with other diabetes medicines. Low blood sugar can happen more often when sitagliptin is taken with certain other diabetes medicines.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses of sitagliptin at the same time.
  • If you take too much sitagliptin, call your doctor or local Poison Control Center right away.
  • When your body is under some types of stress, such as fever, trauma (such as a car accident), infection or surgery, the amount of diabetes medicine that you need may change. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these conditions and follow your doctor’s instructions.
  • Check your blood sugar as your doctor tells you to.

Stay on your prescribed diet and exercise program while taking sitagliptin. Talk to your doctor about how to prevent, recognize and manage low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), and problems you have because of your diabetes.
Your doctor will check your diabetes with regular blood tests, including your blood sugar levels and your hemoglobin A1C.

Sitagliptin Dosage

Take sitagliptin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you. 

The recommended dose of sitagliptin is 100 mg once daily with or without food. Dosage adjustment is recommended for patients with moderate or severe renal (kidney) insufficiency or end-stage renal disease.

Sitagliptin Overdose

If you take too much sitagliptin (more than the prescribed amount), call your local Poison Control Center right away.

Other Requirements

Store sitagliptin at 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).

Keep sitagliptin and all medicines out of the reach of children.