Could your diabetes drug cause pancreatic cancer?

According to media reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is evaluating findings from researchers which suggest that the pancreas could become inflamed after taking certain diabetes medications, which may also be associated with cancer. However, these concerns go back as far as 2007, when the FDA first received reports of patients developing pancreatitis.

The names of some of these diabetes drugs include: 

  • Byetta (Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.);
  • Januvia (Merck & Co.); and
  • Victoza (Novo Nordisk A/S).

Although the findings suggest that the risk of pancreatitis could be double, the FDA hasn’t made a final determination regarding risks associated with the drugs. When a drug causes severe or life-threatening side effects, it may be considered a dangerous medication.

Examples of injuries that can result from an unsafe medication include: 

  • kidney damage;
  • liver failure;
  • stroke; and
  • heart attack.

What are circumstances under which a drug may be considered dangerous?

A drug may be labeled dangerous if a medication is found to cause adverse reactions with many other medications. Although it’s not uncommon for a medication to have some harmful interactions with a handful of other drugs, if it’s found that the problem is widespread, the risks may not outweigh the benefits.

Another circumstance under which a drug could be considered dangerous is if there are serious, unexpected side effects. Once a drug has been tested, any side effects that are discovered will be indicated on the label. But if the toxicity is much greater than thought and it can cause serious complications, this could lead to the FDA pulling it.

The attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates may be able to help if a dangerous drug is believed to have caused injuries. We can evaluate the details of a case to determine the viability of a potential dangerous drug claim.

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