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Diabetes Drug, Victosa, Linked to Serious Side Effects

Filed January 4th, 2013 admin

The popular diabetes drug, Victoza, continues to be linked to serious side effects.

A host of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of patients who suffered from pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, kidney failure or thyroid cancer related to the Type 2 diabetes medication. Denmark-based manufacturer Novo Nordisk gained approval for the drug in 2010 for use as a daily injection for a glucagons-like peptide-1 therapy (GLP-1). Therapies such as Victoza work by imitating the activity of the GLP-1 hormone and stimulating the production of insulin. However, research suggests the use of Victoza may lead to an increased risk of certain cancers and kidney failure.

In fact, Victoza was approved despite objections from three reviewers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Public Citizen said. One of the major objections came after clinical trials by the FDA found that Victoza can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. In 2011, researchers at the University of California published a study in the journal, Gastroenterology, revealing that the risk of pancreatitis was six times higher in patients taking GLP-1 therapies than those not taking them. The researchers concluded that medications such as Victoza could have serious and unpredictable side effects.

The FDA also received an influx of reports linking Victoza to renal failure shortly after the drug gained approval. In response, the FDA changed the safety label on the drug to read “Victoza may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea leading to dehydration, which may cause kidney failure.” Public Citizen blasted the move, calling the FDA’s failure to instruct patients and doctors to stop taking the medication as “reckless.”

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