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Januvia Pancreatitis, Pancreatic Cancer and Thyroid Cancer

Pancreatitis, Pancreatic Cancer and Thyroid Cancer
Associated with Januvia

Januvia diabete drug linked to Pancreatic cancer and to Pancreatitis.

Januvia diabete drug linked to Pancreatic cancer and to Pancreatitis

Our firm is investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of patients who suffered from pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer related to the use of glucagon-like peptide-1-based therapies such as Januvia (sitagliptin). Januvia is a prescription medicine used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with Type 2 diabetes, which occurs when there is not enough insulin to break down sugar in the body. Januvia came to the market in 2006 and is manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc.

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a gut hormone that helps secrete insulin. Januvia, is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor; it helps stop the activity of DPP-4,the substance that breaks down GLP-1. Research has linked this glucagon-like peptide -1-based therapies to an increased risk of pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer.

In 2011, Gastroenterology journal published a study definitively linking pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer -1 based therapies. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found a higher incidence of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer associated with Januvia compared with other therapies.

Januvia Associated with Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, the organ responsible for secreting digestive enzymes. It is also involved in regulating blood sugar because it releases the hormones insulin and glucagon. Pancreatitis occurs when the digestive enzymes become active while still inside the pancreas (instead of the small intestine). This condition, which can occur acutely or develop as chronic condition, can cause damage to the pancreas. According to WebMD, signs of acute pancreatitis include:

  • Upper abdominal pain that may radiate to the back
  • Swollen and tender abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate

Chronic pancreatitis causes many of the same symptoms, but may also lead to weight loss. According to the Gastroenterology study, pancreatitis was six times more common among patients who took Januvia compared to those who took an alternative type 2 diabetes therapy.  

Januvia and Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer, where cancer develops in the tissues of the pancreas, is a usually rapidly spreading cancer that is rarely detected in the early stages. Unfortunately, the prognosis for this condition is often poor. According to MayoClinic, pancreatitis and diabetes are both risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer. Signs of pancreatic cancer often to do not appear until the advanced stages, they include:

  • Upper abdominal pain, possibly radiates to the back
  • Jaundice
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Depression
  • Blood clots

According to the clinical researchers at UCLA, pancreatic cancer was more commonly reported among patients taking Januvia. Compared to other type 2 diabetes drugs, patients taking Januvia had a 2.7-fold increased rate of pancreatic cancer.

Januvia and Thyroid Cancer

The thyroid gland secretes hormones responsible for regulating heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. According to the National Cancer Institute, there were 496,901 people living in the United States with a history of thyroid cancer on January 1, 2009; this includes 109,920 men and 387,981 women. Although most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured with proper treatment, it has a tendency to come back, even if the thyroid has been removed. Signs of thyroid cancer include:

  • A lump on the skin of your neck
  • Changes in voice, voice becomes more hoarse
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Neck and throat pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Previous research has found that diabetes medications affecting glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) increases the proliferation of precancerous thyroid cells in rats.

Legal Help for Victims of Januvia Side Effects

If you or a loved one suffered from pancreatitis,  pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer related to the use of Januvia, you may have valuable legal rights. To discuss your case with one of our experienced drug injury lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP, please fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).


Januvia Pancreatitis, Pancreatic Cancer and Thyroid CancerRSS Feed

Diabetes Drug Safety Under Review Following Potential Links to Pancreatic Cancer

Jun 13, 2013
The makers of some Type 2 diabetes medications, such as Januvia and Byetta, may be asked to put together additional data on the drugs’ potential cancer links. Merck & Co., Novo Nordisk A/S, and others continue to assert their products’ safety, according to Bloomberg News. Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has indicated that it is looking to create a study—either through the agency or the drug makers—to more fully review whether the medications...

Federal Officials Investigate Potential Link Between Diabetes Drug Januvia and Pancreatic Cancer

May 31, 2013
Federal health officials are set to launch an investigation into a possible link between the type 2 diabetes drug Januvia (sitagliptin) and a risk of pancreatic cancer. According to a New York Times report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is acting on the research of a single person who said he found that lab rats taking Januvia had developed pancreatic cancer. Dr. Peter C. Butler, chief of endocrinology at UCLA, was tapped by Merck & Co., the maker of Januvia, to conduct a...

Merck's Januvia Sales Drop, Investor Worries Cited

May 17, 2013
Drug maker Merck & Co. Inc. just reported an unexpected drop in the quarterly sales of its Type II diabetes drug Januvia. Januvia is Merck’s fastest- and greatest-selling product since it was approved in 2006. It is the one product that often drives the drug maker’s quarterly earnings, according to a Reuters report. But that has not been the case recently. Merck’s shares fell 1.6 percent in the face of investor concern about slower Januvia growth. "This was an inflection...

FDA Probes Pancreatic Cancer Risk with Diabetes Drugs Januvia, Byetta and Victoza

Mar 15, 2013
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is examining new evidence that suggests a group of recently approved diabetes drugs, including Januvia, Byetta and Victoza may have a link to pancreatic cancer. In a March 14 Drug Safety Communication, the agency said samples of pancreatic tissue taken from a number of patients showed inflammation and cellular changes that often precede cancer. The tissue samples came from diabetes patients who were taking the new medications, after they died from...

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