Januvia Heart Risks Not Seen in New Study for Diabetes Drug

The findings of new research appear to dispel some concerns over whether the side effects of Januvia may increase the risk of heart problems. 

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 8, researchers from Duke University indicate that no association was found between Januvia and heart risks. The findings were presented at an American Diabetes Association conference in Boston on Monday.

The study was funded by Merck, Januvia’s manufacturer.

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Januvia belongs to a class of drugs known as a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, and is also an incretin mimetic; a class that includes Byetta, and Victoza. There is also a combination drug, Janumet, which combines Januvia and Metformin.

In recent years, concerns have emerged about potential side effects of these diabetes drugs, which some studies have indicated could increase the risk of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.

In this latest study, researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind clinical trial involving 14,671 patients who were either given Januvia (sitagliptin) or a placebo in addition to whatever previous diabetes medications they were taking.

After three years of follow-up, the researchers found only non-statistically significant differences for both heart problems and pancreatic cancer.

“Among patients with type 2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease, adding sitagliptin to usual care did not appear to increase the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, hospitalization for heart failure, or other adverse events,” the study’s authors wrote.

A number of Januvia Lawsuits and Janumet lawsuits are currently pending in courts throughout the country, involving allegations that the manufacturers failed to adequately research the side effects of the medications or adequately warn users about the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Cases pending throughout the federal court system has been consolidated as part of an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation, which is centralized before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battalglia in the Southern District of California to reduce duplicative discover, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.

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