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Janumet Overview

Janumet (sitagliptin / metformin) is a medication used to manage type-2 diabetes. It is actually a combination of two anti-diabetes drugs:

  • Sitagliptin: This inhibits the enzyme DPP-4, which normally breaks down a hormone called GLP-1. By reducing DPP-4, sitagliptin increases GLP-1, which stimulates the pancreas to release more insulin into the bloodstream. This lowers blood-sugar levels.
  • Metformin: This drug helps treat diabetes by limiting the amount of sugar that is released in the bloodstream.

Janumet Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is a disease that is caused by mutated cells that begin dividing out of control. Over time, these cells accumulate in a mass called a tumor. These cells can also spread throughout the body and cause cancer in other tissues and/or organs.

The thyroid gland is located near the base of the front of the neck. It is roughly butterfly-shaped, with two large lobes. Cancer can affect one lobe or both, but the disease is easier to treat when only one lobe is affected. Treatment for thyroid cancer usually involves removal of the thyroid gland (lobectomy or thyroidectomy). The patient may need to take hormone supplements for the rest of his or her life to regulate metabolism and calcium balance.

Studies of Janumet Thyroid Cancer

In 2011, the journal Gastroenterology published a study conducted by researchers at UCLA. They analyzed reports submitted to the FDA MedWatch database between 2004 and 2009. They found that sitagliptin was associated with a 1.5-fold increased risk of thyroid cancer based on two case repots. However, because the MedWatch reports are voluntarily submitted, the risk cannot be extrapolated to the general population and is only a signal of a potential risk.

In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked Amylin Pharmaceuticals (the manufacturer of sitagliptin) to conduct a long-term safety study to investigate the potential risk of thyroid cancer. Because thyroid cancer is very rare, this study will likely take many years to complete.

Symptoms of Janumet Thyroid Cancer

Fortunately, most cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed early because the symptoms are very noticeable. The thyroid gland is located on the front and center of the neck, and a growing tumor in this location can often be felt through the skin.

Janumet thyroid cancer symptoms include:

  • Lump on the neck or throat
  • Neck swelling
  • Changes in tone of voice
  • Hoarseness or cough that is not due to illness
  • Throat or neck pain, tenderness
  • Ear pain
  • Problems breathing or swallowing
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck