Januvia and Byetta are both treatments for Type 2 diabetes. Januvia is produced by Merck, and Byetta is produced by Amylin Pharmaceuticals. The two drugs are often prescribed together in order to provide maximum effectiveness in treating patients struggling to control their blood sugar.
Both drugs are extremely popular, with more than two million prescriptions written for Januvia alone in 2011. Analysts predict that sales of Januvia may reach an estimated $6 billion annually as the population ages and the instances of diabetes increase.
Unfortunately, millions of patients prescribed Januvia and Byetta may find themselves facing unexpected health problems. Although these drugs may keep blood sugar down and stabilize insulin levels, the medications have also been linked to very serious and potentially fatal side effects related to pancreatic diseases, as well as thyroid and kidney problems.
If you took Januvia, Byetta or both drugs and have been diagnosed with acute pancreatic, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer or kidney failure, you may have certain legal rights. Lawsuits have already been filed against Merck, Amylin Pharmaceuticals and makers of similar medications by patients who suffered pancreatic complications. Claims have also been filed by relatives whose family members died as a result of taking the diabetes medications.
If you have suffered complications related to pancreatic diseases, thyroid cancer or kidney failure after using Januvia or Byetta, you could be entitled to compensation for the physical injuries and emotional suffering you have endured. Contact our South Carolina dangerous drug lawyers at Joye Law Firm to find out what legal options you may have. Call Joye Law Firm at (877) 936-9707 or use our online contact form. There is no fee for the consultation and claim review.
Complications from Januvia And Byetta
Januvia is an oral medication and is the top-selling brand in its class of diabetes drugs, with an estimated 75 percent of the global market share. Januvia is in a class of medications called DPP-4 inhibitors that aim to lower blood sugar by increasing the body’s insulin levels and decreasing the production of sugar in the liver. By blocking DPP-4, which breaks down incretin in the body, incretin can stay in the blood for longer and continue to stimulate the pancreas to make insulin and remove excess sugar.
Byetta is a twice-daily injectable drug that is often prescribed in conjunction with the oral medication, Januvia. Byetta, which was approved by the FDA in 2007, aims to control blood sugar by mimicking the body’s natural production of GLP-1. GLP-1 is a hormone that increases the production of insulin, helping to control blood sugar.
Byetta is considered to be part of a class of medications called glucagonlike peptide-1 receptor agonists. It accounted for $517.7 million in sales in 2011. Analysts estimate that sales of the medication, which can also help with weight loss, could exceed $1 billion in coming years.
Unfortunately, the medications significantly increase the risk of:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Kidney damage and failure.
The manufacturers of Byetta, Januvia and similar medications allegedly did not provide adequate warning of these risks to patients when the drugs came on the market. The lack of a warning may mean that patients did not have the opportunity to give informed consent to the risks of taking the medications, and many found themselves facing unexpected serious and life-threatening complications. Some of these patients are now attempting to hold the drug manufacturers liable through defective drug lawsuits.