Know your Diabetes medication, one dose at a time! By Dr Dheeraj Kapoor
Mechanism of action
Sitagliptin was launched in India in 2008. It works by inhibiting an enzyme and thus prolongs the action insulin. In a nutshell this drug improves the efficacy and duration of action of insulin.
Sitagliptin is administered in the form or oral tablets.
Sitagliptin addresses the alpha as well as the beta cells, and thus, is good for management of Type 2 Diabetes. It does not cause hypoglycaemia and has shown to improve regeneration of beta cells in animals. Other than aiding it controlling blood sugar levels, this drug is known to have beneficial effects on blood pressure and microalbuminuria (spillage of excess protein in urine – a marker of early kidney damage).
The side effects caused by Sitagliptin are rare. It may however cause
- Nasopharyngitis (common cold)
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
Should not be used
This drug should not be taken by patients who have
- A past history of pancreatitis
- Type 1 Diabetes
Dr Dheeraj Kapoor is a Consultant Endocrinologist at Artemis Hospital.