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BREAKING MEDICAL NEWS June 11, 2013

More Risks Shown for Diabetes Drugs

June 11, 2013

Commonly prescribed diabetes medications have been linked to risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, according to recent publications. The drugs include exenatide (Byetta), liraglutide (Victoza), sitagliptin (Januvia), and possibly other similar medications. Reports from Dr. Peter Butler of UCLA and Drs. Sonal Singh and Jodi Segal of Johns Hopkins University describe these adverse effects in the journals Gastroenterolgy, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Diabetes. These new warnings about adverse effects of oral diabetes medications follow in the wake of the FDA pulling blockbuster medications troglitazone (Rezulin) off the market, restricting use of rosiglitazone (Avandia), and issuing warnings related to bladder cancer to pioglitazone (Actos).

Prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes with nutritional measures, especially a plant-based diet and avoidance of meat and dairy products, remains a safe and effective approach.

Elashoff M, Matveyenk AV, Gier B, Elashoff R, Butler PC. Pancreatitis, pancreatic, and thyroid cancer with glucagon-like peptide-1-based therapies. Gastroenterology. 2011;141:150-156.

Butler AE, Campbell-Thompson M, Gurlo T, Dawson DW, Atkinson M, Butler PC. Marked expansion of exocrine and endocrine pancreas with incretin therapy in humans with increased exocrine pancreas dysplasia and the potential for glucagon-producing neuroendocrine tumors. Diabetes. Published ahead of print March 22, 2013.

Singh S, Chang HY, Richards TM, Weiner JP, Clark JM, Segal JB. Glucagon like peptide 1-based therapies and risk of hospitalization for acute pancreatitis in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a population-based matched case-control study. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173:534-539.

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