Januvia vs. Tradjenta

Authored by The Rx Advocates, / Medically Reviewed by Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS


Januvia and Tradjenta are two types of medications for people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Both of these medications can be used as add ons to other medications for type 2 diabetes, or they can be stand-alone treatments. Januvia and Tradjenta, when used under the care of physicians, have been shown to manage high blood sugar and treat type 2 diabetes.

Januvia and Tradjenta are used in similar ways to control blood sugar levels. They both belong to the same class of medications. Januvia is more common, but Tradjenta is also used under certain circumstances. That is why doctors look at each individual case to determine which medication might be best for each individual. It is always important to know the differences between medications so that the patient understands why the doctor prescribed that specific medication for them.

What is Januvia?

Januvia was approved by the FDA in 2006. This medication has shown significant improvements in hemoglobin A1C. This medication can be combined with other type 2 diabetes medications, but it should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.

There is no generic medication for Januvia at this time. It is recommended while taking this medication, that the individual changes their diet and exercise to help improve blood glucose control.

The medication works by lowering the blood glucose levels by blocking the enzyme DPP4, which helps lower the blood sugar and improves the body’s response to insulin. If used as an add on treatment, it is used when blood sugars are not controlled.

Januvia is a pill that is taken once a day with or without food. The time interval of when to take Januvia is of importance as long as the medication is taken at the same time every day.

It comes in dosage strengths of 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg. Typically the starting dose is 100 mg once daily, but this may be decreased for people with kidney problems.

The Side Effects of Januvia

As with any medication prescribed by a doctor, it is important to understand the potential side effects of Januvia. If Januvia is prescribed by the health care provider, the patient needs to let the attending physician know of any previous heart failure or problems with their kidneys because Januvia might increase the risk.

The most common side effect that patients have with Januvia include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation

There are more serious side effects that patients need to pay attention to if taking the medication. If any of the following conditions occur, the patient needs to notify the doctor right away.

  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Heart failure
  • Allergic reactions
  • Severe joint pain
  • Severe skin reaction

What is Tradjenta?

Tradjenta is an oral medication that is given to help patients with type 2 diabetes. It is used to help regulate the amount of insulin that the pancreas produces after eating a meal.

It is recommended that his medication be combined with exercise, diet and weight control, along with blood glucose monitoring to help control type 2 diabetes.

It is not to be used to treat type 1 diabetes or to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

It is important to know before being prescribed Tradjenta that if the individual has had a history of any inflammation of the pancreas.

It is important to keep the doctor informed of all health conditions while being prescribed Tradjenta. It is important to mention if the individual has had the following:

  • High cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Kidney disease
  • Problems with alcohol abuse
  • Insulin use
  • Any antibiotics that treat tuberculosis

Tradjenta is taken in pill form and can be used with other type 2 diabetic medications. Dosage for Tradjenta is 5 mg, once a day, and can be taken with or without food.

The Side Effects of Tradjenta

Patients can experience side effects when taking Tradjenta.  Some of the more common include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Headache
  • Low blood sugar when combined with some other medications
  • Back pain

There are some more serious side effects that can occur with Tradjenta.  If any of the following occur, please contact the doctor.

Januvia Vs. Tradjenta: Which Medication Works Best for Type 2 Diabetes?

Both of these medications are taken in pill form and are recommended to be combined with a diet and exercise program to control type 2 diabetes.  Both are less likely to cause hypoglycemia than some other drugs used to treat diabetes.

It is important to understand that patients are individuals, have different diagnoses, and that is why doctors look at the pros and cons when prescribing medication for type 2 diabetes.

What are the Pros and Cons of Januvia?

The pros of taking Januvia for type 2 diabetes include:

  • It can be taken in pill form
  • It does not cause weight gain
  • It uses the hormones naturally produced by the body to affect how the sugar is processed

Cons of taking Januvia include:

  • Only available in brand version, there is no generic
  • Individuals might experience cold-like symptoms more frequently
  • Lowers AC1 less than 1%
  • Uncommon but serious side effects of pancreatitis and severe joint pain can occur

What are the Pros and Cons of Tradjenta?

The pros of taking Tradjenta include:

  • Recommended if blood sugars are not controlled
  • Does not require dose adjustments if there are mild issues with liver or kidney functions
  • Individuals might experience cold-like symptoms more frequently
  • Does not cause an increase in weight
  • Does not cause hypoglycemia if used by itself
  • Can be taken once a day in pill form

The cons of taking Tradjenta include:

  • It does not lower blood sugars as much as others
  • Only available in brand only
  • Uncommon but serious side effects of pancreatitis and severe joint pain can occur

In choosing a prescription that is a good choice for the patient, doctors will weigh the benefits to make the right decision for a treatment plan for type 2 diabetes.

Save Money on Their Monthly Prescriptions with The Rx Advocates

Many doctors will prescribe Januvia or Tradjenta to their patients based on their needs for type 2 diabetes. Januvia and Tradjenta are not available as generic medications, so paying for them can be a challenge. At The Rx Advocates, we help make name-brand prescribed monthly medications much more affordable for our patients.

We act on our patients’ behalf with our patient assistance program to get discounts. You just pay for using our services, and the benefit is that the medication will be delivered to you at no additional cost.

At The Rx Advocates, we have helped many individuals save hundreds of dollars every month on Januvia and Tradjenta along with other medications. If paying for medicine has meant financial distress for you, we can help. Please contact us today.

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Drugwatch. Januvia and Janumet. https://www.drugwatch.com/januvia/.2021.

Tradjenta. Why Tradjenta could be Right for you. https://www.tradjenta.com/.2021.

The Mayo Clinic. Pancreatitis. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pancreatitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20360227. 2021.

Iodine. Compare Tradjenta vs. Januvia. https://www.iodine.com/compare/tradjenta-vs-januvia. 2021.

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