Are You Experiencing Side Effects From Januvia?


Side effects are an undesirable result of the usage of certain drugs. Almost every medicine out in the market can have some side effects on the user, depending on the person’s physical constitution and the nature of the drug, as well as other circumstances. Januvia, manufactured by Merck & Co., is not an exception to this.

What is Januvia?

Januvia is the brand name of the medicine sitagliptin. When it was first released into the market, it was touted as safer than most antidiabetic drugs because there were, as claimed, very few side effects. There are virtually very low risks of hypoglycemia (low blood pressure) and weight gain when using sitagliptin or Januvia to control type-2 diabetes. Despite this, one would wonder why Januvia is being brought under legal fire since it first appeared in 2006?

That is because it is not designed to be taken alone; most of the times, Januvia needs to be orally taken as part of a combo that includes other anti-diabetic drugs like metformin and thiazolidinedione. Don’t take it wrongly; Januvia CAN be taken alone but doctors most of the times prescribe it to be taken together with its other antihyperglycemic counterparts.

This means that it takes the safety concerns over the drug to a whole new level.

Possible Side Effects of the Medicine

The medicine received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2006, after which it was released for public consumption. Sitagliptin became a best-selling medicine. However, the FDA also began receiving reports of severe pancreatitis in patients that have recently been prescribed with Januvia. In a span of just three years – October 2006 until February 2009 – there were a total of 88 cases of pancreatitis in patients taking Januvia.

This prompted the FDA to launch a review of the 88 cases. The said review found out that around 21% of patients in these cases developed pancreatitis a mere 30 days after beginning their use of the Merck-manufactured drug. Only a month after using the new medicine for their diabetes, and they suffered from pancreatitis. Curiously, the patients recovered from pancreatitis when they discontinued the use of the drug for their blood sugar management.

The FDA eventually used its authority to compel the manufacturer to update their warning labels to include this new risk. The Administration also asked Merck to put out warnings for physicians to closely monitor patients with a history of pancreatitis when prescribing Januvia to diabetics, and also to inform the public that there were no tests carried out to study the effects of sitagliptin on people with pancreatitis history.

Last but not the least, there were scientific studies that claimed to find a link between Januvia and pancreatic cancer. Considering that Januvia can trigger pancreatitis in just 30 days, prolonged use of the medicine could lead to cancer.

Experiencing Severe Side Effects?

While the FDA had received reports from 2006 until 2009, warnings about the aforementioned side effects of the medicine have only been published later on. As a result, there are still some patients who have not been informed of the risks and, unfortunately, reports and cases of patients developing severe side effects from the drug are rising.

If you have taken sitagliptin for your diabetic condition for more than a year and you are seeing side effects like extreme pain in the abdomen or in the lower back, loss of appetite, and nausea, consult your physician right away! You would need treatment to take care of those side effects, and you would also need your physician’s confirmation that what you are experiencing are indeed the results of using Januvia.

Finally, you need to consult a Januvia attorney to establish a possible lawsuit against the manufacturer. You could file for negligence and product liability, and win back your medical expenses.

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James Stein has had extensive experience in product liability cases working first as a partner in law firm and now as a private practice attorney. Working first as in Asbestos cases, James has since moved to Januvia litigation after he was diagnosed as a type-2 diabetic in 2008. He is also writing articles for AttorneyOne.com through whom he aspires to inform the public about their rights as well as discuss current events.

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