Victoza has been found to increase patients' risk of developing pancreatic cancer and acute pancreatitis, resulting in life-threatening health conditions and significant pain and suffering.. Despite evidence that pancreas problems are more likely with Victoza than other drugs (Januvia, Janumet, and Byetta), many doctors and patients are not aware of the danger. Lawyers handling Victoza cancer lawsuits believe persons and the family members of persons who have suffered from Victoza pancreatic cancer or other pancreas problems may be eligible for significant compensation. This page provides a comprehensive look at Victoza pancreatic cancer and other side effects of Victoza.
Victoza is a popular drug used to lower blood glucose levels in patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Administered once daily as an injection, Victoza is one among several similar drugs in the class known as incretin mimetics. The method Victoza uses to balance the body's blood glucose levels puts undue strain on the pancreas, resulting in an uptick of pancreas problems from Victoza which include acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
In healthy individuals, the pancreas naturally releases incretins into the bloodstream to stimulate the production of insulin during and after a meal. Persons who suffer from Type 2 diabetes lack incretins, one of which is Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1). Without GLP-1, their bodies do not naturally produce the required insulin and as a result, they experience dangerously high blood sugar levels which put patients at risk for kidney disease and blindness.
Simply injecting GLP-1 is not an ideal solution; the hormone is quickly metabolized by enzymes in the body and the effects do not last. Incretin mimetics such as Victoza mimic the effect of GLP-1 hormones, yet are resistant to metabolizing enzymes. By stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin, Victoza addresses the blood sugar imbalance in Type 2 diabetics. However, it is this increase of pancreatic activity that puts patients at risk for acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer from Victoza.
All drugs that fall in the class of incretin mimetics increase the risk of pancreas problems to an extent. What safety experts find troubling is that the risk for developing acute pancreatitis from Victoza is more common than for other similar treatment options. Other incretin mimetics include Januvia and Janumet from Merck and Byetta from Amylin & Eli Lilly.
Victoza pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas suddenly swells and becomes inflamed, and is characterized by abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Acute pancreatitis is an intensely painful and debilitating condition; in its most acute form, it can result in tissue death, organ system failure, and death. Patients taking Victoza are 3.7 times more likely to develop acute pancreatitis than those taking a different drug to treat diabetes.
The most popular drug of its class, patients face the highest risk for pancreas problems from Victoza. According to the FDA, Victoza is not recommended as a first line diabetes treatment, but should be reserved for circumstances where alternative (safer) treatments are no long effective. However, a survey of clinicians showed most medical professionals are not aware of the link between Victoza and pancreas problems; this coupled with accusations of illegal marketing to promote the drug and downplay the Victoza cancer risk are quite concerning. Experts suggest Novo Nordisk has knowingly concealed Victoza pancreas risks in order to maximize profits.
An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in February of 2013 found Victoza causes precancerous growth in the pancreas, which can result in pancreatic cancer. While certain patients are more at risk for developing acute pancreatitis from Victoza, there is no conclusive evidence as to whether a history of pancreas problems increases the risk of developing Victoza pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a life-threatening disease which kills more than 40,000 Americans each year.
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