A class of diabetic drugs called incretin mimetics may be responsible for increased risks to patients for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Drugs such as Byetta and Januvia are in this classification and have long been on the FDA radar for possible links to the deadly diseases.
New research released now points that these drugs may increase the risk up to six times in patients using them in their diabetic treatment. These new findings may lend further credence to lawsuits that have already been filed on behalf of patients that suffered pancreas issues after using these medications.
Role of Byetta & Januvia in treating type-2 diabetes
Both Byetta and Januvia are drugs that are considered incretin mimetics, or drugs that mimic incretin hormones. These medications are meant to help those with Type-2 diabetes regulate their blood sugar by increasing incretin hormones that the body normally produces once a meal is eaten to stimulate insulin production. They can do this by either mimicking them or inhibiting enzymes that destroy the naturally occurring incretin hormones. The end result of using these drugs with diet and exercise is to control blood sugar levels within the body.
Byetta, which is a brand name for exenatide and Januvia, the brand name for sitagliptin, and a host of other incretin mimetics are drugs that are only used for Type-2 diabetes.
Reports Of Complications Associated With Byetta & Januvia Shortly After FDA Approval
The FDA first approved Byetta in 2005, and by 2007, the FDA had already listed concerns regarding high numbers of patients with pancreatitis that were taking the drug. By 2009, the FDA issued a similar alert for Januvia.
The FDA went a step further in March 2013 and issued another alert concerning the link to these medications and not just pancreatitis, but also to pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer. This came after academic researcher findings showed that a correlation between pancreatitis and pre-cancerous cellular changes in patients using incretin mimetics who had died from unknown causes. In one study published in the Gastroenterology in July 2011 showed patients using exenatide or sitagliptin were up to six times more likely to contract pancreatitis.
Dangers Of Pancreatitis And Pancreatic Cancer Associated With Use Of Byetta and Januvia
Pancreatitis is a serious condition that involves inflammation of the pancreas. Most cases start as acute and may transform over time to chronic pancreatitis. Some of the symptoms and other issues that may be caused by pancreatitis are:
Abdominal pain that often radiates from the upper abdomen to the back
Nausea and vomiting
Increased heart rate
Gall bladder disease
Although there are treatments for pancreatitis, there is no cure. Chronic forms reduce life expectancy by an estimated 10-15 years. In addition, those with chronic pancreatitis are also up to five times as likely to contract pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers and prognosis is poor even in the early stages. If the cancer is found early and it is operable to remove before it spreads from the pancreas, there are standard cancer treatment options. In later stages, this form of cancer is untreatable and patients receive medical care only for their symptoms to make them as comfortable as possible.
Thyroid Cancer Treatments & Obstacles For People Who Have Taken Januvia & Byetta
The other type of cancer associated with use of Januvia and Byetta is cancer of the thyroid gland. A study of patients taking these drugs revealed that they were almost twice as likely to develop thyroid cancer compared with people who did not.
Depending on the progression of the cancer of the thyroid and the size of the cancerous growth, surgery and/or chemotherapy may be offered. If caught in its early stages, thyroid cancer is generally considered ‘curable’. However, if the cancer is not caught early on, there is risk that the cancer can spread to the surrounding tissues even through to the other systems of the body.Byetta & Januvia Lawsuit Attorneys
Due to the serious nature of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, there is understandable concern amongst those taking Byetta or Januvia about their health risks. In addition, many others may have already become victim to these serious diseases from the use of these drugs. There are already lawsuits that have been filed for victims of these drugs that are extremely ill or have lost their lives. If you or a loved one has been taking Byetta or Januvia and have been diagnosed with either pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer, we want to talk to you about your situation.
Rosenfeld Injury Attorneys has an established reputation in handling lawsuits related to dangerous drugs. These are extremely complex cases involving extensive medical research and investigation and are vigorously defended by large pharmaceutical companies. We invite you to meet with our team for a free consultation to discuss your case. We work on a contingency fee basis so there is never a charge unless we obtain a financial award in your case. Call us today to discuss your legal options. (888) 424-5757
Resources related to the safety, and information of Byetta and Januvia: