Is Janumet stronger than metformin?

            Sugar is often associated with joy and happiness but this is certainly not entirely true when a person has high blood sugar level or also known as hyperglycaemia. Hyperglycaemia in the long run will develop into diabetes. Diabetes is a lifelong disease caused by inability of pancreas to produce insulin or the insulin is not utilised effectively by the body. Insulin is a hormone in the body that maintains the blood sugar level. It works by enabling the cell metabolism to use sugar or glucose from food to become energy. This energy will be used by the cell to maintain its function. Antidiabetic medication such as Janumet 50-500 mg is among the many medications used to help patients control blood sugar level.

            Janumet contains metformin and sitagliptin. These two active ingredients work together to help patients control blood sugar level. Some people might be wondering if Janumet is stronger than metformin. The short answer is yes. This is because there are two active ingredients that work rather than one which is the metformin alone. Just as the saying goes “two is better than one”.

            Metformin belongs to a class of drugs named as biguanide whereas sitagliptin belongs to a class of drugs named as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. Biguanide works by lowering the amount of glucose produced by the liver and improving the body’s response towards insulin whereas DPP-4 inhibitors work by inhibiting the breakdown of GLP-1 and prolonging the action of GLP-1 to increase insulin production in the pancreas. In short, both metformin and sitagliptin reduce the amount of sugar produced by the liver. These will lower the blood sugar level efficiently compared to metformin action alone.

       Janumet is usually prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes that is not well controlled by one type of antidiabetic drug. Antidiabetic medication is usually given as the last solution after lifestyle changes such as diet and active exercise failed to control blood sugar level as recommended by the doctor. Janumet is typically given when metformin or sitagliptin alone is unable to control a patient’s blood sugar. Hence, combination of the two types of drugs makes Janumet stronger than metformin.

            Dosage of Janumet is typically individualised and is always based on the patient’s targeted blood sugar level or how responsive patients are towards the antidiabetic drugs. The general recommendation is 2 times a day after meals. This medicine should be taken as a whole and never be split or divided. When it is not taken as a whole, the efficacy of the drug may be compromised as the fixated dose is not fixed as intended to by the manufacturer and doctor. Patients may be receiving Janumet apart from diabetes and the dosage may be different that what it is recommended. Always ask the doctor if a patient feels unsure on why they received medicine differently than what is recommended.

            It is worth noting that Janumet is an immediate-release medication. When a person takes this medicine, the medicine is released in the body and works almost immediately. However, although it claims to work that fast, the full effect from Janumet may take up to a few weeks before the effect on lowering the blood sugar level can be seen. Some patients will feel improvement for symptoms within 4-5 days following administration of the medicine. Patients need to take the medication regularly to achieve the full effect from the medicine. Taking it at the same time of the day can help patients remember to take it regularly and help the drug to work in the body maximally.

            Janumet, just as with any other medication, does have potential side effects. It is worth remembering that doctors will always prescribe medication that brings the most benefits outweigh the side effects. Commons side effects include headache, nausea, diarrhoea and upper respiratory infection. Worsening of side effects should be notified to doctors and patients should not stop taking the medication unless instructed otherwise. This medication typically does not cause patients to experience hypoglycemia. Hypoglycaemia is characterised by shaking, dizziness, hunger and sweating. However, hypoglycaemia may occur if a patient takes this medication with other antidiabetic medications, after heavy physical activity or not eating enough calories for the day. It is advisable for patients to always bring glucose tablets or sweets within hand reach at all times. Patients should also make sure to eat proper meals throughout the day to avoid risk for hypoglycemia.

       In essence, Janumet is indeed stronger than metformin. It helps to treat patients with diabetes more efficiently compared to one type of antidiabetic drug. This medication should be taken regularly.  Beside lowering the high blood sugar level, it helps to maintain the level of HbA1C as its optimal level. Any unwanted side effect should always be addressed to the doctor so the doctor can reassess and make recommendations or alternatives. Following a hypoglycaemia event, the patient should discuss the matter with the doctor to avoid future recurrent hypoglycemic episodes that can be dangerous.