Study clears Nesina of heart risk; cancer risk still questionable

diabetes illus250x03 Study clears Nesina of heart risk; cancer risk still questionableThe type 2 diabetes drug Nesina (alogliptin) does not increase the risk of heart failure or cardiovascular risk, according to a new study published in the journal The Lancet.

Death and disability from heart disease is rampant among individuals with type 2 diabetes. Concerns have been raised over the years about how some diabetes medications affect cardiovascular health after the drug Avandia was severely restricted when studies linked the medication to fatal heart attacks.

As a result, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires that a comprehensive evaluation of the cardiovascular safety profile be conducted on all new diabetic therapies. Nesina was approved by the FDA in January 2013.

The study involved patients with type 2 diabetes who were considered at high cardiovascular risk because they had an acute coronary syndrome before entering the trial. These patients, including those with a history of heart failure, showed no increase in hospitalization.

While the study calms worries of cardiovascular risk with Nesina, questions remain about other serious side effects, including cancer risk. Nesina is in a subclass of diabetes medications known as DPP-4 inhibitors, which is in a larger class of drugs known as incretin mimetics. These drugs include newer type 2 diabetes medications such as Januvia and Byetta – two drugs that have been linked to an increased risk of acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Other drugs in this class carry warnings about thyroid cancer.

Nesina is made by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the Japanese drug company that also makes Actos, a type 2 diabetes drug that has been linked to bladder cancer.

Source: Medical Xpress