Januvia and other Type 2 Diabetes Drugs May Increase Chance of Pancreatic Cancer
Certain Type 2 diabetes drugs such as Janumet, Januvia, Byetta and Victoza may increase the risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. These drugs, also known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, lower blood sugar levels in diabetics by stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin. UCLA researchers claim that users of drugs such as Januvia and Byetta may have nearly three times the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
After Januvia, made by Merck & Co., was approved by the FDA, there were 88 documented cases of acute pancreatitis in patients taking Januvia. This led the FDA to issue a safety alert in 2009 warning of a link between sitagliptin, which is the active ingredient in Januvia, and acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis is a proven risk for pancreatic cancer. In 2011, the University of California studied Byetta and Januvia and found that patients had a 2.7 times greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer after using certain of these Type 2 diabetes drugs.
Unfortunately it is often difficult to see the warning signs of pancreatic cancer. It may grow without detection for months and spread to other parts of the body, making it difficult to treat. Some common symptoms are:
- Abdominal Pain/back pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Digestive problems
- Blood clots
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis can also be a complication of Januvia and a potential risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Symptoms of pancreatitis include:
- Upper abdominal pain (may radiate into back pain)
- Swollen and tender abdominal area
- Increased heartbeat
See your doctor immediately if you are taking Januvia or other Type 2 Diabetes drugs and are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Patients who have developed pancreatic cancer since beginning Type 2 Diabetes treatment with Januvia or a similar diabetes drug may want to explore their legal options. Currently there are a number of lawsuits against the pharmaceutical makers and marketers of these drugs alleging that the drug makers did not adequately warn users of the risks of pancreatic cancer. An attorney can help you to determine if your case warrants investigation. Please contact Brett H. Oppenheimer, a Kentucky lawyer, who can review your case. You may call toll free (502) 242-8877 for a free consultation about your experience with the following Type 2 diabetes drugs:
- Kombiglyze XR