Research shows that persons who take Victoza have a higher risk for developing pancreas problems. Victoza pancreas problems include acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, both of which can be life-threatening. American consumers and medical professionals were not adequately warned of the risk of pancreatic cancer from Victoza. This page provides detailed information the the risk of pancreas problems from Victoza as well as who qualifies to file a claim against Novo Nordisk related to pancreatic cancer and acute pancreatitis from Victoza.
Victoza is an FDA-approved treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Injected once daily, Victoza lowers blood sugar levels in order to prevent diabetes complications such as blindness and kidney disease. However, because of the emphasis on stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin, many patients suffer from Victoza pancreas problems.
Patients who suffer from Typ1 2 diabetes lack hormones known as incretins. Incretins such as Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) stimulate the natural production of insulin, which serves to balance glucose levels in the bloodstream. Victoza works by increasing GLP-1 receptor activity, causing the pancreas to release insulin.
From the time Victoza was first approved in January of 2010, federal regulators had concerns over its safety. Early clinical reviews indicated a risk for pancreas and thyroid problems including cancer. At the time of initial approval, the FDA required the adoption of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy and continued safety studies. At this time, Victoza is not recommended as a “first-line” diabetes therapy due to “several safety concerns”.
Patients who take Victoza are 3.7 times more likely to develop pancreatitis than those not taking the drug. Acute pancreatitis from Victoza is a serious condition that can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated expeditiously.
Acute pancreatitis is characterized by sudden inflammation and swelling, causing the organ to lose its blood supply. Patients experience debilitating pain, and the condition’s rapid onset can quickly cause irreversible internal damage including tissue death, organ system failure, and even death. Symptoms of Victoza pancreatitis include abdominal pain and tenderness, fever, nausea, vomiting, sweating, clay-colored stools, bloating and indigestion, rapid heartbeat and breathing, and jaundice.
Pancreas problems are an expected side effect of incretin mimetics, but the risk for acute pancreatitis from Victoza is more significant than for other similar drugs. In fact, there are 11 comparable drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes that have a lower risk for pancreas problems than Victoza. Yet Victoza is the most popular and best-selling drug in the class. Critics point to Novo Nordisk’s illegal marketing tactics which included downplaying the Victoza pancreatitis risk and paying kickbacks to physicians.
Multiple studies have confirmed suspicions linking Victoza to pancreatic cancer. In February of 2013, result of a study were published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) which found cancerous pancreas cells in many subjects. These Victoza pancreatic cancer findings prompted the 2013 FDA Victoza pancreatic cancer warning, three years after the drug was first approved in the United States. Alarmingly, while the Victoza warning label was updated to include new warning information, the term pancreatic cancer was not added to the Victoza drug label. We also know now that, according to a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit, Novo Nordisk illegally promoted the drug to physicians, downplaying the Victoza cancer risk as false or unimportant.
In 2016, results of the LEADER clinical trial were released, confirming original Victoza pancreatic findings. The LEADER trial found that persons taking Victoza were three times as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as persons taking a placebo. Most patients who agreed to take the drug were unaware of the heightened risk of pancreatic cancer from Victoza when compared to other effective diabetes treatments.
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For more information, visit our Victoza Pancreas Lawsuit website.