The Food and Drug Administration has warned that the diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. The agency launched a safety review of two drugs and similar diabetes medications after researchers found that they could increase a patient’s risk of pancreatic symptoms that could lead to cancer.
Manufactured by Merck, Januvia and Janumet both contain the same active ingredient, sitagliptin. The two drugs are part of a class of type II diabetes drugs known as incretin mimics, which control levels of a glucose hormone that works with the pancreas to increase insulin levels in the blood after eating. Other incretin mimics include Byetta and Bydureon, which are manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Januvia, Janumet Linked to Risk of Pancreatic Injury
Concerns about the safety of Januvia and Janumet arose in February 2013 after a study was published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The study revealed that patients taking Januvia and Janumet or similar medications were twice as likely to develop acute pancreatitis.
Although the FDA had linked these drugs to a risk of pancreatitis and inflammation of the pancreas as early as 2007, the JAMA study shed new light on the potential danger posed by these drugs. Other studies have found that patients taking Januvia and Janumet may be up to six times more likely to develop pancreatitis.
Some patients have also developed cancer of the pancreas after taking Januvia or Janumet. The FDA has also warned about high levels of pre-cancerous cells known as pancreatic duct metaplasia in patients taking diabetes drugs such as Januvia and Janumet. The agency’s safety review will collect additional data in order to determine the risk of pancreatic cancer associated with the use of Januvia, Janumet, and similar drugs.
Hurt By Januvia or Janumet? We Can Help.
Patients who were diagnosed with acute pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer after taking diabetes drugs like Januvia or Janumet have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of these drugs, alleging that they were not properly warned about the side effects of these medications. Despite concerns about the safety of these medications and the lawsuits filed by patients who used them, neither Merck nor the FDA have announced plans to recall Januvia or Janumet.
If you or a loved one used Januvia, Janumet, or similar drugs and have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis, you may be eligible to file a case. For a free legal consultation about filing a Janumet or Januvia lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.