Diabetes Drugs and Pancreatic Cancer: Study Suggests Link

Diabetes medications are meant to help people who suffer from this condition to lead normal lives. However, studies suggest a link between certain drugs for Type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

A study published in 2013 by researchers at the Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Diabetes Center at the University of Florida suggested that diabetes drugs such as Byetta (exenatide), Januvia (sitagliptin), and Victoza (liraglutide) are linked to abnormal pancreas changes considered risk factors for pancreatitis and – over time – pancreatic cancer. All three belong to a class of diabetes drugs called incretin mimetics used to treat Type 2 diabetes in adults.

The study findings are in accord with a growing number of reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of pancreatic cancer in patients using these diabetes drugs instead of other diabetes medications, according to the watchdog group Public Citizen.

Other potentially serious side effects of this class of diabetes drugs include:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Thyroid cancer

Diabetes Drugs and Pancreatic Cancer

Concerns have long existed about the possible dangers of the diabetes drugs known as incretin mimetics. In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened warnings about Byetta including the potential for life-threatening pancreas problems after it received reports of deaths and other hospitalizations.

More recently, the FDA announced in March 2013 that it is investigating unpublished research regarding a possible increased risk of pancreatitis and precancerous changes in the pancreas in patients with Type 2 diabetes treated with Byetta and other incretin mimetics.
As always, patients are urged to seek a doctor’s advice before stopping or making changes to any medication regimen.

File a Diabetes Drug Lawsuit

Did you or a loved one receive a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer after taking medication for your Type 2 diabetes? If so, you may want to file a diabetes drug lawsuit with a law firm whose attorneys have experience handling dangerous drug lawsuits.  Contact Sokolove Law today for a free consultation.


Author:Sokolove Law
Sokolove Law

The Sokolove Law Content Team consists of writers and editors who work alongside the firm’s attorneys and case managers. The team strives to present the most accurate and relevant information for those who need legal help.

Last modified: March 6, 2019