Patients with type 2 diabetes often take prescription medications to help regulate blood sugar. Onglyza, one such medication, has been linked to inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, heart failure, and joint pain. Affected patients and families may be eligible to file an Ohio Onglyza lawsuit to recover compensation for damages allegedly associated with the medication.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Ohio today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Onglyza and How Does It Work?
Onglyza belongs to a group of incretin mimetics, specifically known as dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP-4) inhibitors. Used in conjunction with proper diet and regular exercise, Onglyza helps treat adults who suffer from type 2 diabetes. Onglyza is not prescribed for patients with insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes. People who have type 2 diabetes cannot efficiently produce enough insulin while telling the body to release more glucagon, a hormone that tells the liver to produce more blood sugar.
Onglyza reduces blood sugar in the following ways:
- Reduces the amount of glucagon secreted by the pancreas, stopping the liver from producing too much glucose (sugar)
- Helps the body make more insulin after the consumption of meals
Onglyza Side Effects and Risks
All prescription medications have some type of side effect. Common reactions and side effects of Onglyza when used as prescribed to treat adults with type 2 diabetes include:
- Severe pain in the upper stomach spreading to the back
- Rapid heart rate
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet
Less serious side effects of the medication may include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Stomach pain
Oftentimes diabetes drugs, including Onglyza, are used together to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of low blood sugar may result. Side effects of low blood sugar may include nervousness, sweating, extreme hunger, a feeling of anxiousness, and blurred vision.
Onglyza and Heart Failure
Following a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that the makers of Onglyza submit clinical trial data to investigate a potential link between the use of Onglyza and heart failure. The FDA voted to recommend that warnings be placed on the drug’s labels notifying the public of the potential risks associated with heart failure and Onglyza. Although the study was seen as preliminary, patients were advised to discuss any concerns they may have with their doctor or health care provider.
Onglyza and Thyroid Cancer
The FDA noted in a 2011 safety communication that there was a possible connection between the use of Victoza, a DPP-4 inhibitor similar to Onglyza, and the risk of thyroid cancer. In the FDA’s report, they recommended that doctors observe patients who treat diabetes with Victoza and look for increased signs of thyroid nodules, or small abnormal growths of tissue on the thyroid gland.
Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer Risks
In 2013, the FDA issued a safety communication warning of reported acute pancreatitis in patients taking Onglyza. If pancreatitis is suspected, patients should immediately cease using the drug and notify their doctor or health care provider immediately. It is unclear whether individuals with a history of pancreatitis are at a greater risk for the development of pancreatitis while using the medication.
Incretin-based therapies, including Onglyza, have also been allegedly associated with pancreatic cancer. According to a study conducted in 2013 and published in the medical journal Diabetes, pancreatic mass increased by approximately 40% in patients treated with incretin therapy as opposed to patients who were not. The study also noted a relationship between incretin-based therapies such as Onglyza and potentially cancerous abnormal cellular growth in the tissues of the pancreas.
How An Ohio Onglyza Lawsuit Can Help
Drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are accompanied by full and accurate instructions and warnings to guide prescribing doctors and other health care providers in making treatment decisions. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by Onglyza may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications after taking Onglyza, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Patients who have suffered severe side effects after taking Onglyza, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the drug, are encouraged to seek the advice of an Ohio Onglyza lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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