12th Q&A With Dr. Bernstein

Dr. Richard K. Bernstein

| Jun 12, 2013

Can Januvia Trigger Cancer Symptoms?

I have been a type 2 diabetic for more than 10 years, and have been on Januvia for about half that time (previously Avandia). I recently read a Dr. Mercola piece where he said that Januvia may trigger some type of cancer symptoms because of how it impairs the bodies natural tumor fighting properties. I am 68 years old and this has me concerned. Has anyone heard about any legitimate studies on this? Thank you.


Januvia is an oral agent in a class of drugs known as incretin mimetics.  It has been shown to reduce A1c a fraction of 1% in some mild type 2 diabetes. Thus its blood sugar effect is small compared to Glucophage, Actos, and Avandia. In theory it could cause nausea since one of its functions is to slow stomach emptying. In practice, however, nausea and other side effects are rare. 

Perhaps the most serious adverse effect of this entire class of drugs is pancreatitis-inflammation of the pancreas.  However, this is extremely rare and might affect one in 10-20,000 users. Since the pancreatitis reverses upon stopping the drug, one should be aware of its symptoms, which include severe pain in the upper abdomen radiating from back to front, nausea, loss of appetite, etc.                                                                                                                                                                                           

Like many supplements and prescription drugs, Januvia can interact with other drugs or supplements. Incretin mimetics have been shown to foster partial beta cell recovery in early diabetes, help prevent damage to kidneys caused by high blood sugar, and more recently  possibly protect coronary arteries. Januvia is a pretty benign, but not a very effective, blood sugar drug. 

There are sites on the Internet that inappropriately criticize this and many other medications approved by the FDA and propose instead supplements that may be ineffective or untested for toxicity.


Richard K. Bernstein, MD is one of the most knowledgeable, committed and successful pioneers in the field of diabetes today.  He invented blood sugar self-monitoring  and basal/bolus insulin dosing, when he was an engineer.

Dr. B is Director Emeritus of the Peripheral vascular Disease Clinic of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His private medical Practice in Mamaroneck N. Y. specializes in treating diabetes and obesity.

He is a physician, research scientist, thriving Type 1 for  67 years, and best-selling author of nine  diabetes books including Diabetes  Solution , The Diabetes Diet and several E-books. This link diabetes-book.com will give you more information about his publications. To  sign up for his free monthly teleseminars, visit askdrbernstein.net.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: A1C, Blood Sugar, Cancer, Diabetes, Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Magazine, Diabetic, Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, FDA, Januvia

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (2)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by Anonymous on 22 July 2013

Is it possible to put all these Q&A's with Dr. Bernstein together? It's hard to find older ones on the website. Even if you click on the "Dr. Richard K. Bernstein" category at the bottom it only finds a few. (I guess not all of them are marked with that category). Thanks.

Posted by Anonymous on 9 May 2014

I am confused over the term ( classification) of Type 2 diabetics. IMy blood sugar was high ( 8.2) doctor prescribe me with metformin 500, after exercise the blood sugar reduced to less than 6 and I was not on metformin for more than 1 month .My blood sugar still maintain lower tham 6. Do I have to take the medication?

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.