Manufactured and marketed by Merck & Co., Januvia (generic: sitagliptin) is an FDA-approved type 2 diabetes medication that’s been on the market since 2006. While the drug was initially well received by the medical community and showed early promise, it wasn’t long before problems began to arise that prompted calls for help to Januvia side effects lawyers. Over the past several years, Januvia has been linked to serious health complications including pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and death.
Januvia Update 2/28/12: Merck & Co. may face extensive fines for being nearly a year late in submitting a post-market pancreatitis study involving its two popular diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet. A letter posted on the FDA’s website stated that both medications are currently misbranded due to the fact that Merck has failed to complete a 90-day pancreatic safety study in rodents.
Free Confidential Case 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?
In recent years, the number of people in the United States diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has exploded, prompting an increased demand for medications to combat this condition. One of the most widely-prescribed type 2 diabetes drugs to hit the market in recent years is Merck’s Januvia (generic: sitagliptin). Unfortunately, not long after it was released, reports of serious Januvia side effects began to surface, prompting calls for help to lawyers.
Side Effects of Januvia
Januvia has been linked to the following serious side effects:
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Acute Pancreatitis
- Hemorrhagic Pancreatitis
- Necrotizing Pancreatitis
Other, less severe side effects may include:
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Common colds
- Sore throat
- Swelling (water retention)
- Abdominal pain
- Extreme hunger
- Cold sweats
- Blurry vision
- Changes in behavior
- Loss of coordination
- Difficulty speaking
Be sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop any of these side effects while taking Januvia. Even if you are not experiencing any of these complications, inform your doctor if you develop something that ‘just doesn’t seem right.” While it may not be a Januvia side effect, your physician should be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach that secretes digestive juices (enzymes) into the duodenum through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic enzymes then join with bile – a liquid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder – to break down foodstuffs. Normally, digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas do not become active until they reach the small intestines. But when pancreatitis develops, the enzymes inside it attack and damage the tissues that produce them. Pancreatitis can be acute, hemorrhagic, necrotizing, or chronic.
Signs and symptoms of Januvia pancreatitis may include:
- Upper abdominal pain
- Abdominal pain that radiates to your back
- Abdominal pain that feels worse after eating
- Tenderness when touching the abdomen
- Losing weight without trying
- Oily, smelly stools (steatorrhea)
Concerned by the growing number of cases of pancreatitis reported by Januvia users, in 2009 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) required warning labels of the drug to be updated to include information about this risk. The FDA is recommending that doctors monitor their patients after initiating a regimen of Januvia, as well as after increasing dosages of the drug. Additionally, the updated labeling is required to point out that Januvia hasn’t been thoroughly studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis, so doctors should be extra careful about prescribing the drug to individuals with preexisting conditions. At the time of the FDA warning, at least 88 post-marketing cases of acute pancreatitis – including two cases of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis – were reported to the administration.
Januvia & Pregnancy
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) currently classifies Januvia in Pregnancy Category B, which means that the drug is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, be sure to contact your physician immediately if you become pregnant while taking Januvia. It is not known whether this medication has the ability to pass into breast milk, and if it could potentially affect a nursing baby. Additionally, Januvia should not be taken by children under the age of 18 without a doctor’s consent.
Do You Have a Januvia Side Effects 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 side effects lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Januvia pancreatic cancer cases in all 50 states.
Free Januvia 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 side effects suit and we can help.