Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

FDA OKs New Type 2 Diabetes Drug

Drug, Called Januvia, Is 1st Approved Drug in New Class of Diabetes Drugs
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 17, 2006 -- People with type 2 diabetes have a new treatment option: a drug called Januvia.

Januvia is the first in a new class of drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors that help the body control high blood sugar.

Januvia comes in tablets; patients take the medication once per day.

The drug may be used with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Januvia may also be taken with the oral diabetes drugs metformin, Avandia, or Actos when any of those drugs, along with diet and exercise, don't adequately control blood sugar.

Metformin is sold as Glucophage and as generic metformin.

Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Nearly 21 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

That figure includes more than 14 million people diagnosed with diabetes and about 6 million with undiagnosed diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, according to the FDA.

Type 2 diabetes is "very, very common," the FDA's Robert Meyer, MD, told reporters in a news conference.

"There are a number of other oral medications available," notes Meyer. He directs the FDA's Office of Drug Evaluation ll.

"Not everybody optimally responds to each medication and not everybody can tolerate each medication," Meyer says. "So having a new drug in a new class for such a widely prevalent disease is important in and of its own right."

How Januvia Works

In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn't produce enough insulin -- a hormone that controls blood sugar -- or doesn't respond properly to insulin.

Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar can make serious problems -- including heart disease, blindness, nerve damage, and kidney damage -- more likely.

Januvia prolongs the activity of proteins that boost the release of insulin after blood sugar rises, such as after a meal.

Januvia does this by blocking an enzyme called DPP-IV, which breaks down these proteins.

By sidelining that enzyme, Januvia lets those insulin-boosting proteins last longer, leading to better blood sugar control.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
kenneth fujioka, md
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Article
 
Middle aged person
Tool
Home Healthcare
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
feet
Slideshow