What is Onglyza (Saxagliptin)?
Onglyza belongs to a group of Type 2 diabetes medications known as DPP-4 inhibitors. The drug works by increasing the amount of incretin (a hormone released by the intestines) available in the body. When blood sugar is too high, Onglyza raises insulin levels, decreasing the amount of sugar made by the body. Onglyza is intended to be used as a part of an overall diabetes management plan and is not meant to be used by those with Type 1 diabetes. Onglyza (Saxagliptin) comes in 2.5 mg. tablets and 5 mg. tablets and is taken by mouth once daily.
What is the Problem with Onglyza (Saxagliptin)?
It appears that Onglyza has both serious side effects as well as more common side effects, which, according to the manufacturer will dissipate after the body adjusts to the medication. The “common” side effects include nausea, urinary tract infections, upper respiratory infections, diarrhea, vomiting, stuffy or runny nose, headache, sore throat, fluid retention and swelling of hands, legs and feet. Serious risks associated with Onglyza include pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, heart failure and even death. The FDA is aware of the potential risks associated with Onglyza, and in 2011 issued a warning regarding an increased risk of pancreatitis, then in 2015, issued a warning regarding an increased risk of heart failure.
Is Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Safe?
It is hard to answer the question of whether taking Onglyza for Type 2 diabetes is safe; while some doctors feel the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks, those who develop heart failure, deadly pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis or thyroid cancer after taking Onglyza may feel differently. Onglyza can cause allergic reactions among some patients, and for some, even the “normal” side effects of the drug are too severe to continue taking Onglyza. If you take Onglyza, speak to your physician regarding the safety of the drug, and whether the risks of serious injury are outweighed by the benefits your doctor feels you receive from taking the drug.
Who Should Not Take Onglyza (Saxagliptin)?
If you experience infection, trauma, fever or surgery, your doctor may ask you to temporarily stop taking Onglyza. Those with congestive heart failure should not take Onglyza, and the drug may also increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if it is taken with a sulfonylurea drug. Those with a weakened immune system (HIV, organ transplant, etc.) may require special monitoring and Onglyza may build up in the body, causing serious side effects among those with kidney disease or reduced kidney function.
Onglyza could also build up in the body and adversely affect those with liver disease or reduced liver function. Those patients with reduced liver function, which is moderate or severe, should not take Onglyza. Saxagliptin can result in an inflamed pancreas, so those with a history of pancreatitis may require special monitoring. Symptoms of pancreatitis include abdominal pain on the upper left side which radiates to the back, swollen abdomen, rapid heartbeat, fever, nausea and chills. Onglyza is not recommended for patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What are the Life-Threatening Risks of Onglyza (Saxagliptin)?
There is no doubt there are dangers of Onglyza (Saxagliptin) for some patients. The life-threatening risks of Onglyza (Saxagliptin) include heart failure, pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. The SAVOR study found a higher rate of heart failure among those using Onglyza than those who were given a placebo drug. Symptoms of heart failure include an irregular heart rate, wheezing, persistent cough, swelling of ankles, feet or hands, unusual fatigue, and difficulty breathing, particularly when lying down. Pancreatitis is often a pre-cursor to pancreatic cancer, which is considered one of the most deadly types of cancer, with a low survival rate.
Did the Manufacturers of Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Fail to Adequately Warn the Public About its Potential Risks?
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determined that all federal Onglyza lawsuits would be consolidated before one judge in Kentucky. There are currently at least 84 Onglyza product liability lawsuits pending, each raising similar allegations that AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb failed to adequately warn doctors and patients about the potential heart failure side effects of Onglyza. Plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers of the drug knew—or should have known—about the Onglyza heart failure risk yet did not adequately warn patients and the medical community about those risks.
Has There Been an Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Recall?
Despite the lawsuits and the potential risks associated with Onglyza, there has not yet been a recall of the drug, although the FDA has required stronger warnings on Onglyza labeling, related to the risks of heart failure and the risks of pancreatitis. It remains to be seen whether there will be an Onglyza (Saxagliptin) recall in the future.
Do I Have an Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Case and If So, What Do I Do?
If you have suffered injury or injuries after taking Onglyza, you may have a potential Onglyza (Saxagliptin) case. To protect your rights and your future, it could be extremely beneficial for you to contact a Sullo & Sullo Onglyza (Saxagliptin) injury attorney who can evaluate the facts of your case and help you determine whether filing an Onglyza lawsuit is right for you.
What are My Potential Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Damages?
If your attorney feels you have a valid Onglyza (Saxagliptin) lawsuit, you could be entitled to the following Onglyza (Saxagliptin) damages: medical expenses related to your Onglyza injuries, lost wages if your injuries prevented you from returning to your regular job, future lost wages if you will be unable to return to your job for the foreseeable future, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages in some cases if it can be proven that the manufacturers of Onglyza deliberately hid the dangers of Onglyza from physicians and patients.
How Do I Protect My Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Case?
The best way to protect your Onglyza (Saxagliptin) case is to speak to a Sullo & Sullo product liability attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys have many years of experience dealing with product liability cases like Onglyza. We will preserve your right to file an Onglyza (Saxagliptin) claim and will ensure you are within the statute of limitations for a product liability case.
What is the Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time an injured party has to file a product liability claim. The statute of limitations varies from state to state, and, in most states, the time period does not begin until the plaintiff (injured party) discovers the injury (or should have reasonably discovered the injury under the discovery rule). A few states begin the time period on the date the injury actually occurs, and some states also have statutes of repose which bars any product liability action which is not brought within a specified length of time from when a specific event occurs—such as the initial sale of the product. As an example, in the state of Texas, a product liability claim must be brought within two years of the date on which the injury occurred.
How Likely is an Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Settlement?
It is difficult to say whether an Onglyza (Saxagliptin) settlement will occur. Generally speaking, drug and medical device manufacturers do not agree to a settlement until the number of plaintiffs has reached a certain level, and until bellwether trials in those cases have consistently been decided in favor of the plaintiffs. One such example is DePuy metal hip implant cases. These cases numbered in the thousands, and eventually DePuy agreed to a settlement. It is unlikely AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb would agree to a settlement at this point, particularly since the manufacturers of Onglyza continue to assert the drug is safe.
Other DPP-4 Inhibitors Which Work Like Onglyza (Saxagliptin)
There are other drugs similar to Onglyza (Saxagliptin) which are also DPP-4 inhibitors (Gliptins). Januvia (Sitagliptin) was the first DPP-4 inhibitor drug which worked by increasing levels of GLP-1 in the bloodstream, and Galvus (Vildagliptin) and Nesina (Alogliptin) came soon after. Onglyza (Saxagliptin), Kombiglyze (Saxagliptin mixed with metformin), and Tradjenta (Linagliptin) are the newest drugs in this family. The gliptin drugs are typically used for patients who have not responded to sulphonylureas or metformin.
Getting Help for Your Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Injury Claim
Of course, your potential Onglyza (Saxagliptin) claim is dependent on the specific elements of your injuries related to Onglyza. It could be advantageous for you and your future to consult a Sullo & Sullo attorney who can answer your specific questions and help you determine whether you have a valid Onglyza claim.