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Pancreatitis, Pancreatic Cancer Risk Seen With Byetta,Similar Diabetes Drugs | cialis online

Pancreatitis, Pancreatic Cancer Risk Seen With Byetta,Similar Diabetes Drugs

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A specific class of drugs is being being linked to increased risks for cancer in diabetics, specifically Byetta (manufactured by Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co.) and Victoza (by Novo Nordisk A/S). Both drugs are in the GLP-1 class of type 2 diabetes medications.

The drugs will be specifically discussed at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes conference taking place this week in Lisbon, said Bloomberg News. This new study, which was detailed in the July issue of Gastroenterology, indicates that patients taking Byetta a Merck & Co. medication experienced a six-fold increased risk for pancreatitis, said Bloomberg News, which noted that pancreatitis raises the risk of tumors.

Robert Elashoff, of the University of California at Los Angeles, led the study. The study reviewed adverse event reports to the FDA between 2004 and 2009. It also involved Merck & Co.’s Januvia, and found similar risks. Januvia also works on GLP-1, but via a different mechanism. Victoza was not incuded in the study, having only been approved in 2010, but because it is in the same class as Byetta, it could pose similar risks.

It is possible that these findings of the latest study might induce authorities to ask for more safety data before approving new GLP-1 medications, Bloomberg said.

This is just the latest study to raise concerns about effects of drugs like Victoza and Byetta on the pancreas. In June, the maker of Victoza (liraglutide) reminded physicians of some serious side effects such as thyroid C-cell tumors and acute pancreatitis. At the time, Novo Nordisk issued a “Dear Healthcare Provider” letter regarding possible Victoza complications after an assessment revealed that many primary care providers are not fully aware of the serious risks linked to use of the drug.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Victoza in January 2010 amid controversy due to the uncertainty about its cardiovascular risks, and animal studies indicating increased thyroid cancer risks. The injectable medication acts on a hormone in the gastro-intestinal tract called glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) to lower blood sugar levels. Byetta, another drug in this class, is also an injectable.

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