Pharmaceutical

Alarming number of pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer cases with diabetes drugs

Victoza 349x210 Alarming number of pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer cases with diabetes drugsPancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas that can increase the likelihood of a patient developing pancreatic cancer, a health problem that type 2 diabetics are already at greater risk of developing. Interestingly, a study of drug adverse event reports reveals that common type 2 diabetes drugs have been associated with side effects that include acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Health informatics firm AdverseEvents scoured through post-marketing reports filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and found 1,900 cases of pancreatitis with AstraZeneca’s Byetta injection, 1,284 cases in patients taking Novo Nordisk’s Victoza, and 1,296 cases in patients taking Merck’s Januvia. Even more alarming is that pancreatic cancer was found in 750 Byetta users, 335 Victoza users, 696 Januvia users and 167 Janumet users. Janumet is a drug that combines Januvia with another diabetes drug, metformin.

Victoza, Byetta, Januvia and Janumet are relatively new diabetes drugs and yet these medicines have already come under review by the FDA for the effects the drugs have on the pancreas.

The FDA is also investigating another group of drugs, known as SGLT2 inhibitors, after an alarming number of patients developing ketoacidosis, a serious condition in diabetes that can lead to coma and death. An AdverseEvents analysis found 23 cases of ketoacidosis with Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana and 16 with AstraZeneca’s Farxiga.

Reports of ketoacidosis with SGLT2 drugs has prompted the FDA to order new warnings for the condition to the safety labels of all diabetes drugs in this class.

Cardiovascular red flags were also found by AdverseEvents in groups of other type 2 diabetes drugs, such as five cases of heart failure with Taekda’s Nesnia and 19 with AstraZeneca’s Onglyza. Farxiga was also tied to six cases of heart failure.

Source: Fierce Pharma