Januvia is the brand name version of sitagliptin, a once-a-day medication prescribed to patients with type-2 diabetes to help control blood sugar levels. It has been used by millions of patients since it was approved by the FDA in 2006 and is sold by Merck & Co. in over 80 countries.
Januvia works by inhibiting the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), which in turn extends the life of hormones that stimulate the production of insulin. This causes the body to absorb more sugar, avoiding unsafe levels in the bloodstream.
Unfortunately, studies have now linked Januvia and other diabetes medications with pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer.
The FDA originally warned of Januvia pancreatitis risks in 2009 after they received 88 reports of patients suffering pancreatitis while taking the drug in a 27-month period. Although Merck was ordered to add label warnings for patients, Januvia was allowed to stay on the market.
In 2011, researchers from UCLA discovered additional risks of Januvia, finding that it could increase the risk of pancreatitis 6-fold, while raising the risk of pancreatic cancer by 270% and thyroid cancer by 148%.
Most recently, the Journal for the American Medical Association published a study in February of 2013 which showed drugs like Januvia could double the risk for pancreatitis and lead to pancreatic cancer and kidney failure. This led the FDA to issue a new Januvia warning in March of 2013.
Since Merck failed to warn patients about the full risks of pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer from Januvia, they are liable for the damages caused. Lawyers are currently helping those affected file claims.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer after taking Januvia, it is important to speak with a lawyer about your legal rights as soon as possible. Contact us today.
Each year, more than 25 million people in the United States are treated for diabetes, making drugs like Januvia highly profitable for pharnaceutical companies. In 2012, Merck earned $4 billion from Januvia sales alone, as well as $1.65 billion for Janumet, which combines Januvia with the common diabetes drug metformin.
Now, records show that Merck had reason to know that Januvia had risks for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer as early as 2008, when the FDA issued warnings for the similar drug Byetta. However, Merck has only warned patients of these dangers when required by the FDA.
If you or a family member have been affected by thyroid cancer or pancreatic cancer, it is important to speak with a lawyer to learn what help is available and how long you have to take action.
Lawsuits for defective drug injuries can be very complex. Therefore, it is important to choose a lawyer with experience in this type of case. DrugRisk only recommends lawyers and law firms that have already handled diabetes drug or Januvia lawsuits.
Contact us today for more information on the warnings, research, side effects and legal news related to Januvia and other diabetes drugs, or to speak with a lawyer. We are available 24 hours a day to help.