What Janumet XR is used for and how to use it
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Janumet XR Consumer Medicine Information

Manufacture: Merck and Co., Inc.
Country: Canada
Condition: Diabetes, Type 2
Class: Antidiabetic combinations
Form: Tablets
Ingredients: sitagliptin phosphate monohydrate, metformin hydrochloride, colloidal silicon dioxide, hypromellose, kaolin, polyethylene glycol, povidone, propyl gallate, and sodium stearyl fumarate, microcrystalline cellulose

sitagliptin and metformin hydrochloride tablets (as sitagliptin phosphate monohydrate and metformin hydrochloride)

sitagliptin and metformin hydrochloride modified-release tablets (as sitagliptin phosphate monohydrate and metformin hydrochloride)

About this Medication

What the Medication is Used For

JANUMET or JANUMET XR are used in addition to diet and exercise to improve blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Alone, in patients who are not controlled on metformin alone or currently on sitagliptin (JANUVIA) and metformin; OR
  • In combination with a sulfonylurea, in patients who are not controlled on metformin and a sulfonylurea.
  • JANUMET or JANUMET XR can be taken with premixed or long/intermediate acting insulin.
  • In combination with pioglitazone, in patients who are not controlled on metformin and pioglitazone.

What it Does

JANUMET and JANUMET XR are a tablet that contains sitagliptin and metformin. These two medicines work together to help you achieve better blood sugar control.

Sitagliptin is a member of a class of medicines called DPP-4 inhibitors (dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors). Sitagliptin helps to improve the levels of insulin when blood sugar level is high, especially after a meal. Sitagliptin also helps to decrease the amount of sugar made by the body. Sitagliptin is unlikely to cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Metformin is a member of the biguanide class of medicines, it helps to lower the amount of sugar made by the liver. Together, these medicines help you to achieve better blood sugar control.

What is Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body does not make enough insulin, and/or does not use the insulin that your body produces as well as it should. When this happens, sugar (glucose) builds up in the blood. This can lead to serious problems.

When it Should not Be Used

Do not take JANUMET or JANUMET XR if you:

  • Have unstable and/or insulin-dependent (Type 1) diabetes mellitus
  • Have metabolic acidosis (including diabetic ketoacidosis, history or ketoacidosis or lacticacidosis – too much acid in the blood)
  • Have a liver or kidney problems
  • Drink a lot of alcohol
  • Have cardiovascular collapse (abrupt failure of blood circulation) or cardiorespiratory insufficiency
  • Are stressed, have severe infections, are experiencing trauma, prior to surgery or during the recovery phase
  • Suffer from severe dehydration (have lost a lot of water from your body)
  • Are allergic to sitagliptin, metformin, or any of the ingredients in JANUMET or JANUMET XR. See "What the important non-medicinal ingredients are"
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • Are going to get or receive an injection of dye or contrast agent for an x-ray procedure. Talk to your physician or pharmacist about when to stop JANUMET or JANUMET XR and when to start again

What the Medicinal Ingredients Are

sitagliptin phosphate monohydrate and metformin hydrochloride

What the non-Medicinal Ingredients Are

Each film-coated tablet of JANUMET contains the following inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, polyvinylpyrrolidone, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium stearyl fumarate. In addition, the film coating contains the following inactive ingredients: polyvinyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide, red iron oxide, and black iron oxide.

Each modified-release tablet of JANUMET XR contains the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, hypromellose, kaolin, polyethylene glycol, povidone, propyl gallate, and sodium stearyl fumarate. The JANUMET XR 50 mg/500 mg tablet contains the additional inactive ingredient microcrystalline cellulose. In addition, the film coating contains the following inactive ingredients: hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, titanium dioxide, FD&C Blue #2/Indigo Carmine Aluminum Lake and carnauba wax. The JANUMET XR 50 mg/1000 mg tablet contains the additional inactive ingredient yellow iron oxide.

What Dosage Forms it Comes In

JANUMET contains sitagliptin/metformin hydrochloride 50 mg/500 mg, 50 mg/850 mg, or 50 mg/1000 mg. JANUMET XR contains immediate release sitagliptin (as sitagliptin phosphate monohydrate) /extended release metformin hydrochloride 50 mg/500 mg, 50 mg/1000 mg or 100 mg/1000 mg.

Warnings and Precautions

Serious Warnings and Precautions

JANUMET and JANUMET XR contains metformin which can rarely cause lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis can cause death and must be treated in the hospital (see section Lactic Acidosis below). Since alcohol may increase the risk of lactic acidosis caused by metformin you should not drink a lot of alcohol if you take JANUMET and JANUMET XR (see section Lactic Acidosis below).

Lactic Acidosis

Stop taking JANUMET or JANUMET XR if you get the following symptoms of lactic acidosis:

  • You feel very weak and tired.
  • You have unusual (not normal) muscle pain.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • You feel cold, especially in your arms and legs.
  • You feel dizzy or lightheaded.
  • You have a slow or irregular heartbeat.
  • Your medical condition suddenly changes.

You have a higher chance of getting lactic acidosis if you:

  • Have kidney problems.
  • Have congestive heart failure that requires treatment with medicines.
  • Drink a lot of alcohol (very often or short-term “binge” drinking).
  • Get dehydrated (lose a large amount of body fluids). This can happen if you are sick with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Dehydration can also happen when you sweat a lot with activity or exercise and don’t drink enough fluids.
  • Have certain x-ray tests with injectable dyes or contrast agents used.
  • Have surgery.
  • Have a heart attack, severe infection, or stroke.
  • Are 80 years of age or older and have not had your kidney function tested.

Cases of inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) which may be severe and lead to death have been reported in patients taking JANUMET or JANUMET XR.

BEFORE or while taking JANUMET or JANUMET XR talk to your physician or pharmacist if:

  • You have or have had pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or any risk factors for pancreatitis such as gallstones (solid particles that form in the gall bladder), a history of alcoholism, high triglyceride levels.
  • You are receiving treatment with insulin since this drug can increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). When JANUMET or JANUMET XR is used in combination with sulfonylurea or insulin, low blood sugar can occur. Your physician may consider lowering the dose of the sulfonylurea or insulin. Take precautions to avoid low blood sugar while driving or using machinery.
  • You have or have had an allergic reaction to sitagliptin, metformin, JANUMET or JANUMET XR.
  • You have heart problems.
  • You have or have had kidney problems.
  • You have liver problems.
  • Drink alcohol a lot (all the time or short-term "binge" drinking).
  • You are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. JANUMET or JANUMET XR are not recommended for use during pregnancy.
  • You are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. You should not use JANUMET or JANUMET XR if you are breast feeding. It is not known if JANUMET or JANUMET XR passes into breast milk.
  • Are older than 80 years. Patients over 80 years should not take JANUMET or JANUMET XR unless their kidney function is checked and it is normal.

JANUMET and JANUMET XR are not recommended for use in children under 18 years of age.

Interactions with this Medication

Some drugs may interact with JANUMET or JANUMET XR

Careful monitoring is advised. Tell your doctor if you are taking:

  • other diabetes drugs such as glyburide
  • furosemide
  • nifedipine
  • cationic drugs (e.g., amiloride, digoxin, morphine, procainamide, quinidine, quinine, ranitidine, triamterene, trimethoprim, and vancomycin)
  • other drugs tend to produce hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and may lead to a loss of blood sugar control. Some example of drugs that can increase the blood sugar include:
    • Thiazide and other diuretics (water pills)
    • Corticosteroids
    • Phenothiazines
    • Thyroid products
    • Estrogens or estrogens plus progestogen
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Phenytoin
    • Nicotinic Acid
    • Sympathomimetics
    • Calcium channel blocking drugs
    • Isoniazid
    • Beta-2-agonists

ACE inhibitors drugs may lower blood glucose and the combination with JANUMET or JANUMET XR should be carefully monitored.

Before using any drugs or herbal products, check with your physician or your pharmacist.

Proper Use of this Medication

Take JANUMET or JANUMET XR exactly as your physician has prescribed. Your physician will tell you how many JANUMET or JANUMET XR tablets to take and how often you should take them.

Your physician may need to increase your dose to control your blood sugar.

Usual Dose

JANUMET should generally be given twice daily with meals to lower your chance of an upset stomach.

JANUMET XR should be taken once a day with food preferably in the evening to lower your chance of an upset stomach.

If you take JANUMET XR, swallow the JANUMET XR tablets whole. Do not chew, cut, or crush the tablets. Tell your doctor if you cannot swallow JANUMET XR whole.

If you take JANUMET XR, swallow the JANUMET XR tablets whole. Do not chew, cut, or crush the tablets. Tell your doctor if you cannot swallow JANUMET XR whole.

Very rarely, you may see something that looks like the JANUMET XR tablet in your stool (bowel movement). If this happens, check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar control has changed, contact your doctor. Do not stop taking JANUMET XR without talking to your doctor.

Continue to take JANUMET or JANUMET XR as long as your physician prescribes it so you can continue to help control your blood sugar.

You may need to stop JANUMET or JANUMET XR for a short time. Call your physician for instructions if you:

  • have a condition that may be associated with dehydration (large loss of body fluids) such as being sick with severe vomiting, diarrhea or fever, or if you drink fluids a lot less than normal.
  • plan to have surgery.
  • are going to get or receive an injection of dye or contrast agent for an x-ray procedure.

Overdose

In case of drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it with food as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses of JANUMET or JANUMET XR at the same time.

Side Effects and what to Do About Them

Like all medicines, JANUMET and JANUMET XR may cause side effects.

The most common side effects in patients taking sitagliptin alone include: stuffy or runny nose and sore throat.

Common side effects of metformin include: diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, abdominal bloating, gas, loss of appetite. Similar adverse experiences were seen in patients treated with extended-release metformin products.

In rare cases, metformin, one of the medicines in JANUMET and JANUMET XR can cause a serious side effect called lactic acidosis. This is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in your blood. This build-up can cause serious damage. You should also stop using JANUMET or JANUMET XR and call your physician right away if you have signs of lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency that must be treated in a hospital.

When JANUMET or JANUMET XR is used with a sulfonylurea medicine or with insulin, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can occur. Lower doses of the sulfonylurea medicine or insulin may be required while you used JANUMET or JANUMET XR. The signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, confusion, irritability, hunger, fast heartbeat, sweating, and feeling jittery. Discuss with your physician or pharmacist how to treat low blood sugar.

Tell your physician or pharmacist if you develop any unusual side effect, or any of the above side effects that do not go away or get worse.

Additional side effects have been reported in general use with JANUMET, JANUMET XR or sitagliptin, one of the medicines in JANUMET or JANUMET XR. These side effects have been reported when JANUMET, JANUMET XR or sitagliptin have been used by themselves and/or with other diabetes medicines:

  • Allergic reactions, which may be serious, including rash, hives, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing. If you have an allergic reaction, stop taking JANUMET or JANUMET XR and call your physician right away. Your physician may prescribe a medication to treat your allergic reaction and a different medication for your diabetes.
  • Inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Kidney problems (sometimes requiring dialysis).
  • Constipation.
  • Vomiting.
  • Headache.
  • Joint pain.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Arm or leg pain.
  • Back pain.
  • Itching

Serious Side Effects, how often they Happen and what to Do About Them

Symptoms / EffectsTalk with your physician or pharmacistStop taking drug and call your physician or pharmacist
Only
if severe
In all cases
Very common
Hypoglycemia (when used with a sulfonylurea or insulin)
Uncommon
Feeling very weak, tired or uncomfortable;
unusual muscle pain,
trouble breathing,
unusual or unexpected stomach discomfort,
feeling cold,
feeling dizzy or lightheaded,
suddenly developing a slow or irregular heartbeat
Rare
Pancreatitis: symptoms of pancreatitis (prolonged severe abdominal pain which may be accompanied by vomiting)
Allergic reactions including rash, hives, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing
Lactic Acidosis:
Symptoms include feeling very weak, tired or uncomfortable;
unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, unusual or unexpected
stomach discomfort,
feeling cold, feeling dizzy or lightheaded,
unusual fatigue and drowsiness, or suddenly developing a
slow or irregular
heartbeat
Acute kidney failure: symptoms may include nausea, loss of appetite and weakness, pass little or no urine, breathlessness

This is not a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking JANUMET or JANUMET XR, contact your physician or pharmacist.

How to Store It

The product should be stored at 15°C–30 °C.

Keep JANUMET, JANUMET XR and all medicines safely away from children.

Reporting Side Effects

You can help improve the safe use of health products for Canadians by reporting serious and unexpected side effects to Health Canada. Your report may help to identify new side effects and change the product safety information.

3 ways to report:

  • Online at MedEffect;
  • By calling 1-866-234-2345 (toll-free);
  • By completing a Consumer Side Effect Reporting Form and sending it by:
    • Fax to 1-866-678-6789 (toll-free), or
    • Mail to: Canada Vigilance Program
      Health Canada, Postal Locator 0701E
      Ottawa, ON
      K1A 0K9
      Postage paid labels and the Consumer Side Effect Reporting Form are available at MedEffect.

NOTE:Contact your health professional if you need information about how to manage your side effects. The Canada Vigilance Program does not provide medical advice.

More Information

Also, you can report any suspected adverse reactions associated with the use of health products to Merck Canada Inc. by one of the following 2 ways:

  • Call toll-free at 1-800-567-2594
  • Complete a Canada Vigilance Reporting Form and:
    • Fax toll-free to 1-877-428-8675, or
    • Mail to: Merck Canada Inc.
      Medical Information Center
      16750 route Transcanadienne
      Kirkland, QC H9H 4M7

If You Want More Information About JANUMET/JANUMET XR

  • Talk to your healthcare professional
  • Find the full product monograph that is prepared for healthcare professionals and includes this Consumer Information by visiting the Health Canada website or www.merck.ca.
  • Contact the Medical Information Centre by