Does Januvia cause weight loss?

Januvia is the brand name for an FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved medication manufactured by Merck. Januvia is a diabetes drug used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. It helps to lower blood sugar levels when used in combination with exercise and changes to your diet. Januvia may be used alone or in combination with other diabetes medications, such as metformin, glimepiride, glipizide, pioglitazone, or insulin.

If you have type 2 diabetes, your body may not produce enough insulin or may become resistant to the effects of insulin. This means less sugar is removed from your blood and your blood sugar levels stay too high. High blood sugar levels can cause a range of problems over time, including nerve damage, heart disease, strokes, and kidney failure. Januvia encourages your pancreas to produce insulin for longer after you’ve eaten, helping your body absorb more sugar out of your blood.

Obesity and being overweight are serious health conditions associated with diabetes, and losing 5 to 10% of your body weight will greatly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Here, we will look at what effect Januvia has on your body weight.

Are there any side effects to Januvia?

The most common side effects of Januvia in clinical trials compared to placebo include:

  • Increase in upper respiratory infections and the common cold (stuffy or runny nose and sore throat)
  • Headaches
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

More serious side effects of Januvia include

  • Severe joint pain
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Kidney disease, and kidney failure
  • Serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis – symptoms include a low pulse, sudden drop in blood pressure, and shortness of breath

These aren’t all the side effects Januvia can cause. You can find more details in the patient leaflet that comes with your medication. Talk to your physician or pharmacist if you have any concerns about side effects. You are encouraged to report the side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Januvia drug interactions

Januvia can interact with other medications. These include:

  • Other medications that can lower blood sugar levels, like insulin or a sulfonylurea medicine
  • Digoxin – used to treat a range of heart conditions

Januvia can interact with other medications. This can change how Januvia and other medications work and can make side effects more likely. Tell your prescribing physician about all your drugs, including vitamins and dietary supplements.

Januvia contraindications

You should not use Januvia if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient sitagliptin
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Januvia
  • Have type 1 diabetes
  • Are under 18 years of age

Talk to your doctor about your medical conditions before using Januvia if you:

  • Have a history of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Have a heart condition
  • Have kidney disease or any other renal/kidney problems
  • Are over 65 years of age
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

Does Januvia cause weight loss?

Januvia does not cause weight gain or weight loss as a side effect.

Januvia and metformin for weight loss

Januvia may cause weight loss when taken in combination with metformin. It has been determined that patients that have taken Januvia had a small but otherwise insignificant reduction in body weight.

How much weight do you lose on Januvia?

Weight loss has not been reported as a side effect of Januvia. However, one clinical study in people with high cholesterol taking Januvia for the treatment of type 2 diabetes showed a reduction of around 18 lbs of body weight after 3 months of treatment.

Speak to your healthcare provider for medical advice if you are taking Januvia and want to lose weight. You may need to adjust your diet and lifestyle depending on what you need. You should consider speaking to a dietitian to develop a diet plan.

Can you lose weight while taking Januvia?

Weight loss is not a side effect of Januvia and has not been reported in clinical trials. Losing weight will have a beneficial effect on your general health if you are being treated for diabetes.

Does Januvia cause loss of appetite?

Loss of appetite is a common side effect when taking Januvia.

Which diabetes medicines cause weight loss?

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists are a class of medication that are used to treat type 2 diabetes. These drugs help to reduce blood sugar levels and cause weight loss. These include Trulicity (dulaglutide), Ozempic (semaglutide), and Victoza (liraglutide). GLP-1 medications may cause a weight loss of around 10 to 16 pounds when using liraglutide. People using semaglutide and making changes to their lifestyle lose around 3 pounds, compared to 6 pounds in those who didn’t use the drug.

Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors are another type of drug class that will reduce blood sugar levels and cause weight loss. These include Invokana, Steglatro, Farxiga and Jardiance.

Is it safe to drink alcohol with Januvia?

Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia may occur when consuming alcohol. Alcohol should be avoided if you are diabetic and have high levels of triglycerides, nerve damage, or pancreatitis. Blood glucose levels are not affected if your diabetes is under control and your alcohol consumption is moderate. Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach or after exercise, as this could increase your risk of hypoglycemia.

What foods should be eaten when taking Januvia?

A general healthy well balanced diet should be maintained while taking Januvia for diabetes treatment. This should be high in fruits and vegetables and low in greasy fast food, high in salt or sugar.

How long does it take for Januvia to work?

Januvia works within 1 to 2 weeks to lower blood sugar. However, the full effect of Januvia will take a few months.

Does Januvia cause heart disease?

Common side effects of Januvia include headache and flu-like symptoms. More serious side effects of Januvia include lactic acidosis, heart failure and pancreatitis.

What type of diabetes does Januvia treat?

Januvia is a once-daily treatment used in combination with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Januvia is not recommended for type 1 diabetes or for the treatment of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis.

How is Januvia different from metformin?

Januvia is a DPP-4 inhibitor (dipeptidyl peptidase-4) which increases the release of insulin from the pancreas. Metformin reduces the production of glucose by the liver. Each of these drugs works in a different way to reduce high blood sugar levels.

Medically reviewed

A medical professional has reviewed this article.

Jamie Winn, PharmD
Jamie Winn, PharmD

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.

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Sources (3)

  1. FDA - highlights of prescribing information for Januvia

  2. Medical News Today - Januvia side effects

  3. Mayo Clinic - GLP-1 agonists: Diabetes drugs and weight loss

The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.