Januvia (sitagliptin) is a type 2 diabetes drug that was approved in 2006. It is also available in a combination pill (known as Janumet) that contains the drug metformin. They are the first drugs in a new class called the selective dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, or DPP-4 inhibitors.
Januvia has a big advantage in that it can stimulate insulin production in the body, and may be less likely to cause hypoglycemia than other drugs. If blood glucose falls too low, the drug ceases to stimulate insulin production. The disadvantage? The price.
The drug is "very expensive," says Glenn Cunningham, MD, an endocrinologist and professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He notes that it costs $160 for a 30-day supply of 100-mg tablets.
Nevertheless, "Januvia is becoming a much more popular drug," Dr. Cunningham says. It does not cause weight gain or weight loss, he explained, and is less likely to cause hypoglycemia.