Januvia has been linked to a 2.7-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer in a recent study.
Do I Have a Januvia Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
UPDATE: FDA Safety Alert for Pancreatic Cancer
March 15, 2013 — FDA publishes Safety Alert regarding potential risk of pancreatic cancer. Click here to read more.
Januvia (sitagliptin) is a Type-2 diabetes medication developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006.
Januvia helps Type-2 diabetics control their blood sugar levels. People who have Type-2 diabetes have a chronic metabolic disorder — their cells are desensitized to insulin, a hormone that tells cells to stop using stored energy and start absorbing glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream. Diabetics are resistant to insulin, which causes very high blood sugar after they eat a meal. Januvia stimulates the body to secrete extra insulin, which reduces blood sugar levels.
How does Januvia work?
Januvia belongs to a new class of diabetes drugs known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. DPP-4 is an enzyme the gut produces after eating a meal, and it is responsible for keeping levels of incretins in check. Incretins are hormones that tell the liver to stop producing glucose, and tell the pancreas to start producing more insulin. By inhibiting DPP-4, incretin levels rise, and the pancreas produces extra insulin. Insulin tells cells to absorb blood-sugar, which lowers blood-sugar levels.
Januvia Pancreatic Cancer
It is unknown whether Januvia causes pancreatic cancer — Januvia has only been on the U.S. market since 2006, and there is no long-term safety data on large numbers of people. It may be several years before researchers fully understand the relationship between Januvia and cancer. However, several studies have already linked DPP-4 inhibition to an increased risk of cancer, and Januvia has been specifically associated with a 2.7-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
DPP-4 does more than just regulate the body’s metabolism — it may also help defend against certain types of cancer by preventing tumors from growing into surrounding tissues. This helps the body control cancer cells. Unfortunately, people who take Januvia may lose some cancer protection, because Januvia inhibits DPP-4.
Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is one of the most life-threatening types of cancer. In the early stages, it rarely causes complications, which is why only 20% of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed before they spread to nearby tissues. The pancreas is located very close to other vital organs in the abdomen (heart, lungs, liver, etc.). Once pancreatic cancer spreads to these tissues, treatment options are limited.
Studies of Januvia and Pancreatic Cancer
In July 2011, the journal Gastroenterology published the first major study linking Januvia to an increased risk of cancer. The researchers looked at side effect reports that were submitted to the FDA from 2004-2009. They compared reports for Januvia to reports for other comparable diabetes drugs.
The researchers found Januvia associated with the following side effects:
- Pancreatic cancer was 2.7-times more common in people taking Januvia
- Acute pancreatitis was six times more common in people taking Januvia
Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
Januvia pancreatic cancer may not produce any symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Abdominal pain, which may:
- Jaundice (yellowish color on the skin or whites of the eyes)
- Nausea, vomiting
- Diarrhea, indigestion
- Lack of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss or muscle atrophy
- Itching (palms, soles of the feet)
- Unexplained onset of diabetes or high blood-sugar, caused if the pancreas stops producing insulin
- Malaise (generally feeling sick, weak, tired)
- And more
Januvia Side Effects
- Pancreatic cancer
- Acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- Hemorrhagic pancreatitis (bleeding in the pancreas)
- Necrotizing pancreatitis (death of pancreatic tissue)
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Life-threatening allergic reaction
- And more
Do I have a Januvia Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Januvia lawsuit review.