At this time, our firm is only handling cases in which there has been a pancreatic cancer diagnosis within the last two months.

What You Need To Know About Incretin-Based Diabetes Drugs

Diabetes drugs such as Victoza, Janumet, Januvia, Byetta and Onglyza may increase the risk for developing pancreatic cancer.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition affecting approximately 27 million people in the United States. While there are several types of treatment for type 2 diabetes, incretin-based diabetes drugs are 9 billion dollar business and are prescribed to thousands of people each year. They work to stimulate insulin secretion in the body and are used along with diet and exercise to regulates blood sugar in the body. While these generally are effective drugs for its intended purpose, there is a rising concern about an increased risk for pancreatic cancer among those who take incretin-based drugs.

Several studies suggest incretin-based therapies, including Januvia, Byetta, Victoza and Janumet are associated with an increased risk for pancreatic cancer, a very serious form of cancer. Further, recent research supporting this find has been been conducted. Rather than include a warning label on the drugs, manufacturers have failed to warn consumers of the danger of developing pancreatic cancer. If you or a loved one has suffered from pancreatic cancer after taking an incretin-based drug therapy, contact the aggressive lawyers at The Ruth Law Team who are here to fight against deceptive drugmakers on your behalf. Call us at 888-783-8378 to speak to someone right now.

What Are Incretin-Based Drugs, and What is the Problem With Them?

Incretins are metabolic hormones that work to regulate insulin secretion. Incretin therapies such as Janumet and Onglyza lower the level of blood sugar, thus prompting the body to produce insulin. However, studies over the past several years have shown incretin therapies for Type II diabetes may increase the risk for pancreatic cancer, a rapidly growing and deadly cancer that is difficult to detect in its early stages.

Unfortunately, it appears many of the drug manufacturers who create these diabetes drugs were aware of the possibility they could accelerate the growth of pancreatic cancer yet failed to include it on the warning label for these drugs. Time and time again, our firm has found drug manufacturers (such as those who produce Byetta, Januvia and Victoza) to be well aware of the potentially devastating side effects of its products, yet decided to put profit and sales above the health of the consumer.

Diabetes Drugs That May Cause Pancreatic Cancer

The following diabetes drugs have been linked to or may cause pancreatic cancer in patients with diabetes:

  • Exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon)
  • Liraglutide (Victoza)
  • Sitagliptin (Januvia, Janumet, Janumet XR, Juvisync)
  • Saxagliptin (Onglyza, Kombiglyze XR)

DDP-4 Inhibitors: Januvia, Janumet, and Onglyza

There are different types of incretin therapies, and DDP-4 Inhibitors are one of them. DDP-4 Inhibitors are a medication taken orally and include the drug brands Januvia, Janumet, and Onglyza. These types of drugs inhibit DPP-4 enzymes, which destroy incretins. They are generally effective in lowering blood glucose levels by protecting incretins from damage. However, rather than inhibiting the enzymes for approximately two hours (as in a person without type II diabetes,) DDP-4 inhibitors block the enzyme for approximately seven or more hours, thus increasing the amount of time cancerous cells may have to grow and thrive.

A 2013 study by the Journal of Pharmacovigilance found there was a “significant signal of pancreatic cancer risk associated with DDP 4 inhibitor treatment.” A Januvia attorney or a lawyer who handles Janumet and Oglyza may be able to help you Get Justice against the drug manufacturer.

GLP-1 Agonist Accelerators: Byetta, Bydureon and Victoza

On the contrary, GLP-1 drugs are accelerators. GLP-1 drugs include Byetta, Bydureon, Victoza and Saxenda. Unlike DPP-4 Inhibitors, GLP-1 Accelerators increase the rate of cell division and replication for up to 13 hours. In a person without Type-2 diabetes, cell division takes place for at an exponentially lower rate of about two hours.

GLP-1 accelerator drugs have been likened to pouring gasoline on a fire, leading to a rapidly accelerated growth of precancerous or cancerous cells. It is completely unacceptable the drug manufacturers failed to warn patients with diabetes that taking Victoza, Bydureon, or Byetta could result in pancreatic cancer. A product liability attorney who handles these cases may be able to help.

Can Saxenda Weight Loss Drug Cause Pancreatic Cancer?

Like the drugs mentioned above, taking the drug Saxenda to lose weight could increase your risk for cancer of the pancreas. Saxenda is extremely similar to Victoza, both containing the same active ingredient, liraglutide. Rather than marketing Saxenda as a diabetes drug, its manufacturer Nova Nordisk Inc. has marketed it as a prescription weight-loss drug.

Saxenda’s warning label includes a number of serious side effects, including the possibility of thyroid tumors and even thyroid cancer. Further, its warning label does include the possibility of developing inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis. However, like Victoza and other Type II incretin diabetes drugs, it has failed to include a warning for an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, which is a very serious and deadly form of cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer Detection and Symptions

As the name suggests, pancreatic cancer forms within the pancreas and generally spreads very quickly. Unfortunately, it is difficult to detect in its early stages. If you’ve taken incretin-based therapies such as Bayetta, Januvia, or Janumet for your type 2 diabetes, you may be at a higher risk for pancreatitis and/or pancreatic cancer.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include the following:

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Upper-abdominal pain that may radiate throughout the back
  • Blood clots
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells within the pancreas develop mutations in the DNA. Taking incretion drugs such as Januvia, Janumet, Onglyza, Byetta, Bydureon and Victoza for Type-2 diabetes or Saxenda for weight loss could greatly increase your risk for pancreatic cancer. We don’t want to see anyone needlessly suffer from this terrible form of cancer, especially at the hands of deceptive and negligent drug manufacturers.


The initial MDL, or multidistrict litigation, formed against drug manufacturers Merck, Amylin, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk formed was initially dismissed by a federal trial judge in November of 2015. However, this opinion was reversed on 12/6/18 on appeal to the 9th Federal Circuit. A mandate was issued on 1/2/18, and a preliminary hearing has now been set for February 27, 2018.

Lawsuits filed within MDL 2452 claim the manufacturers of these drugs “willfully, wantonly and with malice withheld the knowledge of an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in users of the Drugs to prevent any chances of their products’ registration being delayed or rejected by [the] FDA.” This failure to warn may have cost the lives of thousands of innocent people.

If you are looking for a lawyer to handle your Januvia or Byetta case, contact the attorneys at The Ruth Law Team. The Type II diabetes drugs Victoza, Onglyza, Janumet and the weight-loss drug Saxenda are also of concern to us, as they are similar medications that may be linked to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.

Incretin therapies aren’t the only type of diabetes drugs we’ve been investigating. Ivokana is a diabetes drug that may be linked to ketoacidosis and an increased risk of foot and leg amputations in patients with type 2 diabetes. It’s time we all work to stop big pharma companies from failing to put patients’ health before profits! For more than 40 years our firm has represented victims of personal injury from negligent parties such as drug manufacturers. We have the ability to accept these pancreatic cancer cases nationwide, so don’t hesitate to call our product liability attorneys 888-783-8378 today.