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Side effects of Onglyza, a popular diabetes drug, may increase the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening injuries, including heart failure and pancreatic cancer.
ONGLYZA LAWSUIT STATUS: Lawyers are evaluating potential Ongylza heart failure cases on behalf of individuals nationwide, as a result of the manufacturers’ failure to warn about the impact of the medication on the heart.
MANUFACTURERS: AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
OVERVIEW: Onglyza (saxagliptin) was approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in 2009. It brought in more than $700 billion in 2011.
The drug, a member of a class of diabetes medications known as incretin mimetics, quickly raised concerns among drug regulators, who began calling for post-marketing studies to look at heart risks, liver toxicity and potentially severe skin reactions.
In 2011, Public Citizen urged patients not to use the drug until at least 2016, when more side effects would likely be known.
Unfortunately, as individuals have used the diabetes medication, a number of serious health concerns have surfaced, which it appears that the manufacturers may have failed to adequately research or failed to provide warning to the medical community.
In February 2018, all Onglyza lawsuits were centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in federal court in Kentucky for pretrial proceedings.
ONGLYZA HEART FAILURE PROBLEMS: Soon after its release, experts worried about the potential link between Onglyza and heart failure. A study conducted in late 2013 may have justified that concern. Research funded by the manufacturers found that patients given Onglyza were more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure than those not given the drug.
That study’s findings led to the FDA launching an Onglyza safety investigation in February 2013.
On April 4, 2016, the FDA announced the findings of its review, determining that Onglyza and similar diabetes drugs should carry new label warnings that the drug was linked to a higher than expected risk of hospitalization for heart failure and all-cause mortality.
The FDA recommends patients taking Onglyza contact a health care professional immediately if they develop heart failure symptoms, which can include:
- Unusual shortness of breath
- Problems breathing when lying down
- Fatigue or weakness
- Weight gain involving swelling of the ankles, feet, legs, or stomach.
ONGLYZA PANCREATIC CANCER RISK: A number of recent studies have suggested that Onglyza and other incretin mimetic diabetes drug carry a risk of pancreatic cancer.
According to a study published in the medical journal Gastroenterology in February 2011, the development of pancreatic cancer among incretin mimetics users was up to 2.7 times greater than among other diabetics.
In the February 2013 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers raised serious concerns about diabetes drug pancreatic cancer risk, after a study found that individuals treated with Januvia, a drug very similar to Onglyza, were twice as likely to be hospitalized with pancreatitis, which could ultimately lead to pancreatic cancer.
AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s failure to warn about the Onglyza pancreas cancer risk may have had devastating consequences for individuals throughout the United States, as it is the fourth most common cause of cancer related deaths in the United States.
Pancreatic cancer symptoms may include:
- Upper abdomen pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Fatigue and weariness
- Nausea and Vomiting