March 15th, 2013

FDA Studying Whether Certain Diabetes Drugs Pose Pre-Cancer Risk

The FDA is investigating whether diabetes drugs in the class known as incretin mimetics pose an increased risk for pancreatic duct metaplasia.

The agency is looking at unpublished data on pancreatic toxicity in a small number of tissue samples taken from patients with diabetes who died. It will examine the researchers’ methodology and the samples firsthand before concluding whether there is a risk to patients.

Incretin mimetics include exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon), liraglutide (Victoza), sitagliptin (Januvia, Janumet, Janumet XR, Juvisync), saxagliptin (Onglyza, Kombiglyze XR), alogliptin (Nesina, Kazano, Oseni), and linagliptin (Tradjenta, Jentadueto). The drugs’ labels already carry warnings about the risk for pancreatitis.

Healthcare providers may continue prescribing the drugs according to the labels and should report adverse events to the FDA.

2 Responses to “FDA Studying Whether Certain Diabetes Drugs Pose Pre-Cancer Risk”

  1. Anil Virmani, MD, DRM says:

    Whether incretins as a class are responsible for pancreatic duct metaplasia, or uncontrolled diabetes per se , is a very controversial point. It takes years for mutations & cancer to occur, and incretins have been around for a few years only.

  2. Hari Fondekar, MBBS, MD says:

    I think we should stick to conventional drugs viz.
    Oral antidiabetics:-Insulin sensitisers-specifically metformin
    and Secretagogues like glimeperide and human insulins (after
    advising proper diet and exercise).Any patient who follows but fails to respond (which is rare) should be referred to a specialised clinic.

    March 17,2013