The widely-prescribed type 2 diabetes drug Januvia (generic: sitagliptin) has recently been linked to chronic pancreatitis, which is a known risk factor for pancreatic cancer. A recent study published in the journal Gastroenterology found that patients taking Januvia had a nearly threefold increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to individuals taking other diabetes medications. Signs and symptoms of Januvia-induced pancreatic cancer may include abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and elevated blood sugars.
Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Update 5/2/13: As concerns have been raised over the past few months about Januvia’s ability to cause pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, drugmaker Merck & Co. suffered a significant hit to its profits over the last quarter. This week, the pharmaceutical giant announced that its first quarter earnings for this year were nearly 20% less than expected, and 4% less than the first quarter of 2012. Click here to learn more.
Free Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking Januvia, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of Januvia and we can help.
What’s the Problem with Januvia?
Patients with type 2 diabetes taking Januvia may have an increased risk of developing acute pancreatitis, necrotizing pancreatitis, or hemorrhagic pancreatitis, conditions that often lead to pancreatic cancer. A 2011 study published in the journal Gastroenterology found a sixfold increase in reported cases of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), as well as a 2.7-fold increase in pancreatic cancer linked to patients taking Januvia compared to those taking other diabetes drugs. These findings added to previous research published in a 2009 issues of Diabetes, which found an increase in pancreatitis in rats whose GLP-1 levels were raised.
Pancreatic Cancer Overview
Pancreatic cancer (also known as pancreatic carcinoma) is a cancer of the pancreas, a large organ located directly behind the stomach. The pancreas makes and releases enzymes into the intestines that help the body absorb foods, especially fats. Januvia-induced pancreatic cancer occurs when uncontrolled cell growth occurs in the pancreas. Rather than developing into healthy, normal pancreas tissue, these abnormal cells continue dividing and form lumps or masses called tumors. Tumors then interfere with the main functions of the pancreas.
Symptoms of Januvia Pancreatic Cancer
In the early stages of the disease, a cancerous tumor in the pancreas may grow without any symptoms. This means that pancreatic cancer is often advanced when it is finally detected. The initial signs and symptoms of Januvia pancreatic cancer may include:
- dark urine
- clay-colored stools
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- pain or discomfort in the upper part of the belly or abdomen
Other possible symptoms of Januvia pancreatic cancer may include:
- back pain
- blood clots
Treatment & Outlook (Prognosis)
Treatment for individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer depends on the stage and location of the disease, as well as on the patient’s age, overall health and personal preferences. The primary goal of pancreatic cancer treatment is to eliminate the cancer, if possible. When this is not an option, the focus shifts to preventing the cancer from growing or causing more harm. In advanced cases of the disease where treatments aren’t likely to offer a benefit, the doctor may suggest ways to relieve symptoms and make the patient as comfortable as possible.
Each year in the United States, more than 30,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In Europe, over 60,000 diagnoses of the disease are made each year. Because pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed late in its development, the five-year survival rate after diagnosis is less than 5%.
Do You Have a Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Januvia lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Januvia pancreatic cancer cases in all 50 states.
Free Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking Januvia, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Januvia suit and we can help.