Januvia Pancreatic Cancer

Published on July 26, 2013 by Sandy Liebhard

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Diabetics who suffered the life-threatening side effects associated with a class of drugs known as incretin mimetics are strongly urged to contact a lawyer about filing a Januvia lawsuit.

In recent years, research has shed new light on issues related to the safety of Januvia, Byetta and other type-2 diabetes medications, and their alleged potential to cause or worsen pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer. As a result, warnings about the connection between Januvia and pancreatic cancer have been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Januvia lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are actively investigating potential claims over type-2 diabetes drug Januvia, which is manufactured by Merck & Co. Call the Firm for a free and confidential case evaluation at .

Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Link

In April 2013, the Institute for Safe Medicine Practices revealed a significant connection between incretin mimetics like Januvia and pancreatic cancer. Research found that those who took a drug from this class were 25 times more likely to suffer pancreatic cancer side effects than those who took other type-2 diabetes drugs.

The study looked at adverse event reports filed with the FDA over a 1-year period. In that time, 177 Januvia pancreatitis cases were reported, along with 18 reports of Januvia pancreatic cancer and 1 Januvia thyroid cancer report. Byetta, another incretin mimetic, was noted in 263 reports of pancreatitis, 71 reports of pancreatic cancer and 14 cases of thyroid cancer.

In total, the Institute found that incretin mimetics were tied to 800 pancreatitis reports, along with 105 pancreatic cancer cases and 32 reports of thyroid cancer.

A month before that, the FDA announced it would be investigating the safety of Januvia and Byetta after an unpublished study showed the drugs’ potential to cause changes to cells in the pancreas.

Research was obtained by investigators from the British Medical Journal, who found pages of unpublished data through the Freedom of Information Act showing drug manufacturers had downplayed vital pancreatic side effect information related to the medications. According to their review, use of the type-2 diabetes medications may ignite an “unwanted proliferative or inflammatory pancreatic effect.”

Incretin mimetics work to stimulate the pancreas to elevate blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. In 2005, Byetta was the first drug of its kind to receive FDA approval.

Below is a list of other U.S. approved incretin mimetics:

  • Bydureon
  • Victoza
  • Janumet
  • Janumet XR
  • Juvisync
  • Onglyza
  • Kombiglyze XR
  • Nesina
  • Kazano
  • Oseni
  • Tradjenta

Many of the above medications have also been shown to suppress appetite, so a number of drug manufacturers are trying to expand their list of uses to include weight loss for non-diabetic patients. This is deeply troubling given concerns about Januvia and similar medications.

Januvia and Pancreatic Cancer

Breakthroughs involving Januvia and pancreatic cancer are not new, though. Following a warning about the potential link between Byetta and pancreatitis in 2008, the FDA issued a similar warning about Januvia pancreatitis in 2009.

A JAMA Internal Medicine study from February 2013 also revealed a doubled risk for Byetta and Januvia pancreatic cancer.

See below for warning signs of Januvia pancreatic cancer:

  • Abdominal pain, especially a dull ache in the upper abdomen
  • Chills and clammy skin
  • Bloating
  • Fatty and pale colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained Weight loss
  • Vomiting

Januvia Thyroid Cancer Investigation, Symptoms

The FDA has asked incretin mimetic manufacturers to investigate their possible link to thyroid cancer. If you are a diabetic who has been taking Januvia or did in the past, look out for symptoms of this disease. It is imperative that you contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing:

  • A lump in the center-front of the neck.
  • Hoarseness or other changes in the voice.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Pain in the throat or neck.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Chronic cough
  • Severely enlarged thyroid gland called a goiter.

Januvia Cancer Lawsuits Move Forward

Lawsuits filed on behalf of patients alleging Januvia pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer side effects are moving forward in courts throughout the U.S. According to court records from July 2013, at least 53 cases filed over Januvia and other incretin mimetics had been filed. On April 29th,2013, Merck & Co. publicly supported the consolidation of these claims in a federal proceeding, stating that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California would be the most appropriate location to do so. (In Re: Incretins Products Liability, Sales and Marketing Litigation, MDL 2452, JPML)

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) was scheduled to hear Oral Arguments on this matter at a meeting on July 25th, 2013.

Contact an Attorney to File a Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit

To find out more about the possible link between Januvia and pancreatic cancer, contact an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP today. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the life-threatening injuries associated with incretin mimetics. Call the Firm at .