Januvia Side Effects – Common and Rare

Januvia Side Effects

It is not uncommon that a popular and well known medication makes news for all the wrong reasons. Such is the case with Januvia, one of the best selling antidiabetic drugs on the market. Produced by Merck and introduced in 2006, the drug belongs to a class of diabetes medications that are known as incretin therapies. On the whole, Januvia side effects are similar to other types of diabetes medications, mostly including gastrointestinal troubles, primarily nausea. However, Januvia side effects also may include serious conditions of the pancreas, which is what has brought major attention to the drug and manufacturer, including a massive lawsuit.

Understanding how the drug works may shed some light on how it may negatively impact the pancreas. Like other forms of Type 2 diabetes treatment, Januvia works by both increasing insulin while also preventing the amount of sugar being outputted by the liver. The pancreas, and therefore the inherent risk of Januvia side effects, becomes involved during this process which can get a little complicated. Essentially, the cells of the intestines release incretin hormones following a meal when blood sugar normally rises. This incretin that is released signals the liver to quit making extra sugar while also telling the pancreas to kick out more insulin. A chemical called DDP-4 keeps this whole process balanced in people without diabetes, but people with the condition need some help. DDP-4 is blocked by the medication Januvia which helps diabetics because the natural shut off switch for the pancreas is turned off, allowing it to keep pumping out insulin. But, this also means that the pancreas can be consistently stimulated, which may be the basis of more serious Januvia side effects that have been reported.

Both pancreatic cancer and acute pancreatitis have been potentially associated with the medication. The latter can result in the digestive enzymes of the body attacking the pancreas, leading to inflammation and further serious damage to the tissue. Unfortunately, the damage can become apparent in other organs, which contributes to the conditions 10-30% mortality rate. Pancreatic cancer, perhaps the most serious of all Januvia side effects, is very difficult to treat and is more likely than many other types of cancer to lead to death. These serious side effects are what have prompted both national attention and legal proceedings to determine the effects the drug has on people taking it.

Most people who take Januvia will not experience the drug’s rare and serious side effects. Because the medication is often taken with others, periods of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) have and do occur. The drug is used to achieve a blood sugar levels normal range, however combinations of antidiabetic drugs have been known to lead to unusually low levels of glucose in the blood, although it is worth noting that many times these instances can be related to dosage issues, skipping meals or strenuous exercise in combination with the pharmaceutical therapy. Many people taking Januvia enjoy a blood sugar levels normal range when dosage is appropriate and a doctor’s guidelines are followed, and Januvia side effects remain relatively uncommon.

Despite the risk of side effects, drugs like Januvia are used to try to restore normal blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. It is very important that people with the disease control their high blood sugar levels in order to reduce the risk of complications from the disease. While Januvia side effects can be unnerving, they are much less likely to occur than some complications of diabetes, which can be unfortunately common. One of these is diabetic neuropathy, which involves the destruction of nerve fibers in people with Type 2 diabetes. The condition leads to numbness, tingling, pain and even eventual paralysis and amputation. Drugs like Januvia help control blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of complications from the disease including diabetic neuropathy, blindness, kidney damage and heart disease, amongst others. Currently, drugs like Januvia are the best answer medicine has to how to lower blood sugar levels, and their benefits are still considered more weighted than their risks.


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