Study suggests possible link between two Type 2 diabetes drugs and pancreatic cancer

Donna isn’t happy about this; one of the drugs is the Byetta she is taking.

Two newer drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes could be linked to a significantly increased risk of developing pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, and one could also be linked to an increased risk of thyroid cancer, according to a new UCLA study.

Researchers from the Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center at UCLA examined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s database for adverse events reported between 2004 and 2009 among patients using the drugs sitagliptin and exenatide. They found a six-fold increase in the odds ratio for reported cases of pancreatitis with these drugs, compared with four other diabetes therapies they used as controls. They also found that patients who took the two drugs were more likely to have developed pancreatic cancer than those who were treated with the other therapies.

Sitagliptin and exenatide are drugs that enhance the actions of a gut hormone known as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood sugar in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Sitagliptin, marketed as Januvia by Merck & Co. Inc., works by inhibiting dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DDP-4), an enzyme that degrades GLP-1. Exenatide, manufactured by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and sold as Byetta, mimics the action of GLP-1 and resists DDP-4 degradation.

Donna muttered about not taking Byetta anymore but I reminded her that would mean she would go on insulin.

The text of the article is here.

Advertisements