Compare Januvia vs. Precose

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Januvia
(sitagliptin)

Precose
(acarbose)

Lowers your blood sugar. Januvia (sitagliptin) is a good add-on treatment if your blood sugars are not controlled and you don't want to use an injectable medicine.Lowers blood sugar. Precose (acarbose) helps lower your post-mealtime blood sugar levels, but it must be taken at the beginning of each main meal in order for it to be most effective.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.34Januvia
Reviews for Januvia
44%
of people (All ages) say Januvia is worth it
34%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle
143 reviews
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Precose (acarbose)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
JanuviaPrecose
  • Common cold 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Upper respiratory infection 3%
  • Headache 1%
More Januvia side effects »
  • Excessive gas 46%
  • Diarrhea 19%
  • Stomach pain 10%
More Precose side effects »
How it works
JanuviaPrecose
Januvia (sitagliptin) is an anti-diabetic drug that enhances your body's release of insulin.Precose (acarbose) stops an enzyme in your body from turning carbohydrates into sugar for energy. As a result, your body will absorb less sugar from the foods that you eat which will lead to lower blood sugar levels.
Type of medication
JanuviaPrecose
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
JanuviaPrecose
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
JanuviaPrecose
Risk factors for serious side effects
JanuviaPrecose
  • History of pancreatitis
  • High blood triglyceride levels
  • Gallstones (stones in gallbladder)
  • History of alchoholism
  • Kidney problems
Detailed Januvia (sitagliptin) risks & warnings »
  • Using insulin or other medicines that stimulate insulin release
  • Those with kidney problems
  • Taking multiple medicines together
Detailed Precose (acarbose) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Interactions
JanuviaPrecose
No interactions related info.
  • Has relatively few interactions with other medicines.
Food
JanuviaPrecose
  • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
JanuviaPrecose
  • Januvia (sitagliptin) can worsen kidney problems. Your doctor may check your kidney function before and during treatment. Your doctor may have to adjust the dose or stop this medicine based on changes in kidney function.
  • Precose (acarbose) is not a recommended treatment option if you have bad kidney function or kidney problems. Your doctor will have you do a blood test to decide if this is the right medicine for you.
Pain
JanuviaPrecose
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
  • Causes side effects usually during the first few weeks of treatment including stomach pain, excessive gas, and diarrhea that will become less bothersome with time.
Weight
JanuviaPrecose
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
  • Precose (acarbose) helps control meal-time blood sugar levels without causing weight gain.
Upsides and benefits
JanuviaPrecose
  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Januvia (sitagliptin) is not linked to worsening heart failure like other medicines in its class.
  • Uses the hormones naturally produced by your body to affect how sugar is processed.
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
  • Precose (acarbose) helps control meal-time blood sugar levels without causing weight gain.
  • When used alone it doesn't normally cause blood sugar levels to be too low unlike other anti-diabetes medicines.
  • Safe to be used in people age 65 or older.
  • Has relatively few interactions with other medicines.
Downsides and risks
JanuviaPrecose
  • Lowers A1c (average blood sugar over time) by less than 1%.
  • Available as brand version only.
  • Some people might get frequent cold-like symptoms.
  • Rare but serious side effects include pancreatitis and severe joint pain.
  • Not a first choice medicine because it isn't as effective at lowering blood sugar compared to other treatment options.
  • Associated with bothersome side effects like excessive gas and diarrhea.
  • Relatively more expensive than other diabetes medicines.
  • Has to be taken three times a day with each meal.
  • Might cause episodes of low blood sugar when taken together with insulin or medicines that stimulate insulin release.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
JanuviaPrecose
  • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
  • Can cause headache and cold-like symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you are experiencing severe joint pain.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly to check for low blood sugar.
  • Take Precose (acarbose) with the first bite of each main meal.
  • Don't take the medicine for the times you have skipped a meal.
  • Causes side effects usually during the first few weeks of treatment including stomach pain, excessive gas, and diarrhea that will become less bothersome with time.
  • You should continue to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and monitor your blood sugar levels while taking Precose (acarbose).
  • Your doctor will work with you to increase your dose gradually.
  • Carry glucose tablets with you at all times so that you can take them when your blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels. This is more likely to happen if you are also using insulin or a medicine that stimulates insulin release.
Learn more
More about JanuviaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PrecoseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Precose (acarbose)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it