Health Canada Currently Conducting Epidemiological Study Of These Incretin-Based Type 2 Diabetes Medications To Assess This Potential Drug Safety Issue
(Posted by Tom Lamb at DrugInjuryWatch.com)
From the October 2014 edition of the Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter we get this drug safety review of the diabetes drugs Bydureon, Byetta, Januvia, And Victoza, "Incretin-based therapies and the risk of pancreatic cancer".
From that relatively recent Health Canada article we get this information:
Non-clinical studies have suggested that incretin-based therapies can lead to increased pancreatic cell proliferation. These findings, along with international reports of pancreatic cancer in patients using incretin-based therapies, raised concerns over the potential risk of developing pancreatic cancer with the use of these drugs.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in Canada with a 5 year relative survival ratio of 8%. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include, but are not limited to, smoking, obesity, a family history of pancreatic cancer, chronic pancreatitis and diabetes.
In 2013, Health Canada informed health care professionals that cases of pancreatic cancer had been reported internationally with the use of exenatide; no Canadian cases were reported at the time. As of July 31, 2014, Health Canada received 13 reports of pancreatic cancer suspected of being associated with all incretin-based therapies. Health Canada has not established a causal relationship between incretin-based therapies and the development of pancreatic cancer from the data currently available.
... Health Canada has initiated an epidemiological study through the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network (DSEN) to assess the potential association between pancreatic cancer and incretin-based therapies and will continue its ongoing monitoring of this potential safety issue.
Other regulatory agencies have also reviewed the evidence regarding the pancreatic safety of incretin-based therapies and concluded that a causal association could not be established. This potential safety issue continues to be investigated internationally.
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Among the diabetes medications in the US that fall into this class of drugs are:
- Bydureon (exenatide)
- Byetta (exenatide)
- Januvia (sitagliptin)
- Victoza (liraglutide)
In recent years, we have written previously, here, about the possible link between these diabetes drugs and cancer of the pancreas / pancreatic cancer:
Byetta / Januvia / Victoza: Update On Possible Association Between These Newer Diabetes Drugs And Pancreatic Cancer As A Side Effect
Cancer of The Pancreas: Possible Side Effect For Diabetics Who Use Byetta, Januvia, Or Victoza?
Emerging Drug Safety Issue: Possible Increased Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer With Byetta, Januvia, And Victoza — Little Is Known About Long-Term Effects
Byetta And Januvia: More Debate About The Possible Increased Risk Of Pancreatitis, Pancreatic Cancer, And Thyroid Cancer
We will watch for the results of that epidemiological study being done by Health Canada to assess the potential association between pancreatic cancer and these incretin-based diabetes drugs such as Bydureon, Byetta, Januvia, and Victoza.
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