Have you or a loved one taken Januvia®, a prescription medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes? Some patients taking this popular diabetes drug from Merck & Co. have reported serious Januvia® side effects.
Merck’s Januvia® belongs to a class of diabetes drugs called incretin mimetics. Other drugs in this category include Byetta and Victoza. These drugs work by mimicking the incretin hormones that the body normally produces to trigger the release of insulin in response to a meal. With diet and exercise, they help to lower blood sugar in adults with Type 2 diabetes.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating an unpublished study that suggests this class of drugs may be linked to a higher risk of pancreatitis and precancerous growths in the pancreas in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Januvia® Side Effects
Concern about the possible side effects of Januvia® has steadily grown. In 2009, the FDA revised prescribing information about the drug to include the potential for life-threatening pancreas problems after receiving reports of severe Januvia® side effects in patients prescribed the medication.
Subsequently, a study published in the journal Diabetes reported that researchers from UCLA’s Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center had found that Januvia® (sitagliptin) caused abnormalities in the pancreas that are recognized as risk factors for pancreatitis and, with time, pancreatic cancer in humans.
Patients who use this medication for Type 2 diabetes should be aware that side effects may include:
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) may also be a side effect when Januvia® is prescribed with other anti-diabetic medications.
Patients are urged to always seek a doctor’s advice before stopping or making changes to any medication regimen.