FDA Approves Merck's Januvia

JANUVIA is a once-daily pill that helps lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

JANUVIA works to help your body do 2 things:
Increase the insulin made by your pancreas when blood sugar is high,
Reduce the amount of sugar made by your liver.
JANUVIA is not likely to cause weight gain.

A new oral medication called Januvia (sitagliptin phosphate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for management of Type 2 diabetes. It's the first in a new class of drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors. Januvia lowers blood sugar levels by blocking an enzyme known as dipeptidyl peptidase IV or DPP-4.

In 2008 the drug companies spent more money marketing Januvia to doctors than they did on any other drug prescribed for a non-psychiatric condition. Not so surprisingly, there were more new prescriptions written for Januvia than for any other new drug.

Though commonly accepted practice guidelines state that patients newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes should be started on Metformin and possibly Insulin, the marketing onslaught has led to Januvia or the combination drug, Janumet (Januvia and Metformin) being prescribed to a very large number of people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Januvia is a prescription drug used to help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. The medication works by increasing insulin production in response to meals and decreasing the amount of sugar that the liver produces. Common side effects of Januvia include headaches, a sore throat, and upper respiratory infections. The medication comes in the form of a tablet that is taken once a day.