Type 2 Diabetes Drugs Can Have Severe Side Effects

by Terry Bryant

People taking a Type 2 diabetes drug may suffer side effects that cause dysfunction in the kidneys, thyroid or pancreas. The FDA has tracked several medications for years, and has forced manufacturers to improve their package labeling several times as research reveals more concerns. Byetta, Bydureon, Janumet, Januvia, Tradjenta and Victoza are among the medications that the FDA is tracking. Byetta, in particular, has received a lot of attention from the agency, so much so that the manufacturer, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, is responsible for sponsoring multiple medical studies.

Byetta contains Exenatide, a synthetic hormone modeled after exendin-4, a natural substance in Gila monster saliva. Exenatide works by activating the body’s insulin secretion processes, which are normally impaired in someone suffering from the disease. However, this Type 2 diabetes drug may also cause side effects like pancreatitis and abnormal kidney function. Acute, necrotizing and hemorrhaging pancreatitis have all been found in people taking Byetta. Several cases have been fatal. Byetta has also been shown to cause thyroid cancer in lab rodents. Studies on human thyroid activity are underway.

The active ingredient in Janumet and Januvia is Sitagliptin, which works by suppressing the DPP-4 enzyme. This prevents the body from breaking down hormones responsible for provoking insulin secretions. However, some patients who have taken the substance have suffered from acute pancreatitis. Also, DPP-4 is effective at regulating malignancies in the body. When this enzyme is suppressed, abnormal cell division giving rise to tumors is not as controlled. This can cause cancerous tissue to form and make it more likely that tumors will spread.

Patients who have taken these medications and suffered from major complications should think about contacting a drug injury attorney. Their expertise in the field will help the victim determine their options regarding restitution.