Dangerous Diabetes Drugs

Onglyza Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Failure

Onglyza, a DPP-4 inhibitors, was the subject of a new study conducted by researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  The study concluded with the following findings:

  • Onglyza resulted in an increased risk of heart failure.  Those taking the diabetes medication had a 3.5% increased risk, versus 2.8% in the control group.
  • There was no increase or reduction in heart attacks
  • There was no increase in rates of pancreatitis or pancreatitic cancer

Onglyza (manufactured by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb) is just one in the DPP-4 class of type 2 diabetes treatments, along with Merck’s Januvia and Takeda’s Nesina.

DPP-4 inhibitors are a form of type 2 diabetes treatment that work by increasing incretin levels, which in turn stimulate an increase in insulin and a decrease in glucagon release.  This in turn has the affect of lowering blood sugar.

The Onglyza study followed over 16,000 women for 2 years.  Another much smaller study of Nesina in 5,000 people did not show an increased risk in heart failure, but experts believe that this is due to the fact that the sample was so much smaller.  Researchers believe that all DPP-4 drugs most likely pose the same heart failure risks, and that those who are more likely to suffer heart problems should not take this class of drugs.

Diabetes medications are big business for pharmaceutical companies.  In 2012, Onglyza brought in $709 million, while Januvia brings in about $5 billion a year.

If you have taken any of these drugs, including Januvia, and have suffered serious side effects as a result, please contact the dangerous drug attorneys at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP.  Our attorneys can answer your questions and give you an assessment of your case’s potential.  Don’t delay–contact us today.