Pancreatic Warning for Virginians Taking Diabetes Medications

Posted on Apr 20, 2013

A new study released by UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) has found a connection between the type 2 diabetes drugs known as incretin mimetics (like Merck’s Januvia) and abnormal cell growth in the pancreas. The cell damage was shown to increase a patient’s likelihood of developing cancer as well. This is not the first time that type 2 diabetes drugs have been under scrutiny.

In response to the study, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that they would review unpublished findings by a group of researchers that previously suggested the possibility of pre-cancerous cellular changes associated with type 2 diabetes drugs, Byetta and Victoza.   

The FDA continues to hear reports about the increase of pancreatic disorders, including cancer, from patients using these drugs.  In 2007, the FDA released a statement that patients using Byetta were at an increased risk for pancreatitis.  In 2009, a similar statement was released for Januvia.  Insurance records show that a patient’s risk of developing pancreatitis may double when using these diabetic medications. 

The researchers at UCLA found that the patients on incretin therapy drugs had a 40 percent increase in cells as well as cell damage.  While the FDA has not issued a warning statement for these drugs yet, the researchers urged those taking type 2 diabetes medications to weigh the risks against the benefits. 

If you have experienced detrimental effects from your prescribed medications that you were not cautioned about, contact the Virginia medical malpractice attorneys at Shevlin Smith today. Our Fairfax attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to get you the help you need.  Call 703.591.0067 or complete the contact form on this page. 

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