The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced in a Safety Alert that type 2 diabetes medications can cause severe and disabling joint pain, raising concerns for a widely-prescribed group of drugs that have already been linked to severe side effects.
Free Diabetes Drug Class Action Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured by a type 2 diabetes medication, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
August 28, 2015 – The FDA alert applies to dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, a class of type 2 diabetes medications that work by blocking the action of an enzyme that destroys the hormone incretin. Incretins help the body produce more insulin only when it is needed and reduce the amount of glucose being produced by the liver when it is not needed.
FDA said it identified 33 cases of severe joint pain linked to DPP-4 inhibitor use in a review of medical literature and adverse events reported to the agency. In most cases, symptoms resolved in less than a month after patients stopped taking the medications. The agency added warnings and precautions about the joint pain risk to the drugs’ prescribing labels.
Which Drugs are Affected?
DPP-4 inhibitors include:
- Januvia (sitagliptin)
- Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin), Janumet XR (sitagliptin and metformin extended release)
- Onglyza (saxagliptin)
- Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin and metformin extended release)
- Tradjenta (linagliptin)
- Glyxambi (linagliptin and empagliflozin)
- Jentadueto (linagliptin and metformin)
- Nesina (alogliptin)
- Kazano (alogliptin and metformin)
- Oseni (alogliptin and pioglitazone)
History and Development of Incretin Therapy
Merck’s Januvia dominates the DPP-4 market and is currently the company’s best-selling drug, generating nearly $2 billion in sales already this year. A combination diabetes drug containing Januvia, Janumet, had $1 billion in sales for the same period.
Despite massive sales, prescriptions for DPP-4 inhibitors have been waning in recent years due to safety concerns and competition from other diabetes drugs. Januvia and Janumet have been linked to cases of pancreatitis, while Onglyza has been associated with an increased risk for hospitalization due to heart failure. In April, an advisory panel recommended that the FDA add a warning to the labeling of Onglyza describing the heart failure risk.
According to the FDA, patients prescribed DPP-4 inhibitors shouldn’t stop taking the drugs but should contact their healthcare provider if they experience joint pain. Doctors should seek other alternative courses of treatment in patients with joint pain if the drugs are suspected of being the cause, the agency said.
Do I Have a Diabetes Drug Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in diabetes drug lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Diabetes Drug Class Action Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one suffered an injury after using a diabetes medication, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a diabetes drug class action suit and our lawyers can help.