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    Thursday, October 19, 2006

    Januvia Jazz: There's a new diabetes drug coming our way, Januvia:

    Januvia is the first in a new class of diabetes medicine known as DPP-4 inhibitor. The drug works by enhancing the body's own ability to lower blood sugar, or glucose, when it is elevated.

    ...According to Dr. John Amatruda, vice president of clinical research for Merck, the drug's label will also reflect that its side-effect profile is similar to placebo, or fake pill.
    Those side effects include runny nose, sore throat, upper respiratory tract infection and diarrhea. Unlike current diabetes drugs on the market, DPP-4 inhibitors don't cause weight gain, which is seen as a major benefit, as the majority of diabetes type 2 patients are already overweight or obese.

    "We now have an option for physicians of a new and novel drug which has powerful glucose lowering efficacy without causing many of the side effects of current agents," Amatruda said. "And it can be used both alone and in combination."

    Sounds wonderful. It even has its own website, where we get a glimpse of the drug rep talking points:

    Approximately twice as many patients got to A1C goal of <7% with JANUVIA

    JANUVIA provides powerful A1C lowering through combined reductions of both PPG and FPG throughout the day

    Oh, and it will cost $4.86 per tablet.

    According to this review, it lowered A1C levels by 1%. So, I'm guessing you can't rely on it to bring a 10 down to a 7.

    Its novelty is in its mode of action. It inhibits an enzyme that destroys a class of hormones called incretins. Incretins are produced in the gut in response to eating. They in turn increase the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas. More incretins, more insulin; more insulin, lower blood sugar levels- especially after eating. We already have a drug that acts by pretending to be an incretin. It's called Byetta, and it comes from Gila monster spit. Its disadvantages are that it is a shot, and that it causes nausea. Advantage Januvia for being a pill, for having no more nausea than a placebo, and for working by enhancing the body's own incretin levels. Now we just have to hope those DPP-4 enzymes don't have any other important functions we aren't aware of. It's the long-term, unkown side effects you have to be wary of.

    P.S. Where did they get that name?

    posted by Sydney on 10/19/2006 09:05:00 AM 1 comments


    Well, you know where they got the name "premarin"
    pregnant mare's urine.

    And "Ansaid"
    Another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

    They're probably making fun of us, somehow.

    By Anonymous Dani, at 5:34 PM  

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