Onglyza (saxagliptin) and Kombiglyze (saxagliptin and metformin) are medications manufactured by AstraZeneca that are prescribed to manage type 2 diabetes by helping regulate blood sugar levels. While these drugs have been effective for many individuals, there have been concerns about their association with certain health risks, particularly heart failure and cancer.
If you or someone you love was diagnosed with heart failure or cancer after taking Onglyza or Kombiglyze, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Joye Law Firm, our South Carolina drug injury attorneys are working hard to help victims of these medications get the money they deserve, and we want to help you, too. Contact us today for a free case review.
How Do Onglyza and Kombiglyze Cause Heart Failure?
The active ingredient in both of these medications is saxagliptin, which belongs to a class of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. In April 2016, a safety review conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that type 2 diabetes medications containing saxagliptin, which includes Onglyza and Kombiglyze, may increase the risk of heart failure in patients who take them. In a clinical trial testing saxagliptin, 2.8% of patients who took a placebo were hospitalized for heart failure during the trial, while 3.5% of patients who took saxagliptin were hospitalized for heart failure.
The exact mechanism by which Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR may increase the risk of heart failure is not fully understood. However, researchers have proposed several hypotheses to explain this potential association.
One theory is that DPP-4 inhibitors, like saxagliptin, may lead to fluid retention in the body. Fluid retention can increase the volume of blood in circulation, putting extra strain on the heart, which may lead to or exacerbate heart failure.
Saxagliptin may affect the hemodynamics, or the way blood flows through the heart and blood vessels. Some studies suggest that these drugs may alter blood vessel function, potentially impacting heart function.
Exacerbation of risk factors
It’s also possible that individuals taking Onglyza or Kombiglyze XR may have pre-existing risk factors for heart failure, such as diabetes or other underlying health conditions. The medications could potentially exacerbate these risk factors.
How Do Onglyza and Kombiglyze Cause Pancreatitis?
While pancreatitis is a potential side effect associated with DPP-4 inhibitor drugs, the exact mechanism by which it occurs is not fully understood.
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, and it can be a serious medical condition. In some cases, it may lead to symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes in the blood.
In March 2013, the FDA published a drug safety communication update regarding certain type 2 diabetes drugs, including Onglyza and Kombiglyze, and their effect on the pancreas of some patients. Specifically, the study noted some patients who took incretin mimetics showed an increased risk of pancreatitis and pre-cancerous cellular changes called pancreatic duct metaplasia.
The exact mechanism by which saxagliptin (the active ingredient in Onglyza and Kombiglyze) may cause pancreatitis is not well-established. Some theories suggest that it may be related to the drug’s impact on pancreatic function or its effects on certain signaling pathways in the body.