Type-2 diabetes is an increasing problem in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control predicting that one in three Americans will have the condition by 2050. In Type-2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate normal insulin levels or does not metabolize the insulin effectively.
Diet, exercise and diabetes drugs can help to control the condition and prevent the organ damage associated with high glucose levels. However, recent reports of pancreatitis linked to the use of these drugs has caused the Federal Drug Administration to review the effects to ensure that patients are not taking on additional medical risk when treating their diabetes problem.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers have developed a number of medications for the control of Type-2 diabetes. These drugs can be effective in reducing the risk of blood vessel disorders, kidney disease, heart attack and stroke associated with high glucose levels. Actos, Januvia, Amaryl, Glucotrol, Avandia, Onglyza, Glyset, Precose and Glycophage are just a few of the brand names of a range of drug categories that are used for blood glucose control. Many of these medications target specific areas of the body in order to control blood glucose levels. In some cases, physicians may prescribe more than one drug for controlling blood glucose levels. This measure can often make it more difficult to determine which of the drugs is causing side effects or other medical issues.
Side Effects of Diabetes Drugs
Many drugs developed for patients with Type-2 diabetes have a number of side effects that range from minor to serious. Medications can cause nausea, headache, skin rashes, stomach pain, diarrhea, upper respiratory infections and extremely low blood sugar. More severe effects can include heart attack, heart failure, stroke and liver disease. As the use of these drugs becomes more widespread, the number of reported problems appears to be increasing. Recently, Merck Pharmaceuticals diabetes drug Januvia and Bristol-Meyer Squibb’s Byetta and Bydureon are being linked with cases of pancreatitis at double the rate that would normally be seen, which has researchers at John Hopkins alarmed. Though the drug manufacturers stand by the safety of their medications, these events have cause physicians and regulatory agencies to monitor their usage more closely.
Diabetes Drug Lawsuits
After careful collection of medical information, the diabetes drug rogislitazone, brand name Avandia, was taken off the market in November of 2011 because of an increased incidence of heart attack in those taking the drug. The recent Actos lawsuit filed by patients who developed bladder cancer after taking the drug pioglitozone has focused increasing attention on the entire range of Type-2 anti-diabetes drugs. The drugs Byetta and Januvia have been involved in a lawsuit filed by a California man, Guy Riley, on behalf of his wife who died of pancreatic cancer after taking these drugs.
How FDA Review Will Help Patients
FDA review of these anti-diabetes drugs is expected to examine the medical data on severe medical conditions associated with these medications so that physicians have a clean understanding of the risks involved.
Authored By: Emma Summers. Emma is a journalist/blogger who contributes new health information across different websites and organizations.