What is Onglyza (Saxagliptin)?
Onglyza (Saxagliptin) is a prescription medication, which, along with diet and exercise is meant to lower blood sugar levels among those with Type 2 diabetes. Onglyza is in a class of medications known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors which work by increasing the levels of insulin the body produces following a meal. Onglyza is only used for Type 2 diabetes, never for Type 1 diabetes or for diabetic ketoacidosis.
Unfortunately, Onglyza and other drugs like it have been found to cause serious health problems, and even death. Onglyza (Saxagliptin) heart failure, Onglyza (Saxagliptin) pancreatic cancer, Onglyza (Saxagliptin) thyroid cancer and other issues such as stroke, kidney problems, nerve damage and eye problems are all potential Onglyza (Saxagliptin) dangers.
Other DPP-4 Inhibitors Which Work Like Onglyza (Saxagliptin)
There are other drugs similar to Onglyza 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) 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.
Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Problems
The problem with gliptin drugs like Onglyza is that, in addition to the life-threatening problems listed above, the known side effects can be quite serious as well: abnormal cell growth, pre-cancerous tumors in the pancreas, flu-like symptoms, headache, joint pain, rash, hives, swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat, pain which begins in the upper left or middle of the stomach then spreads to the back, vomiting, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, swelling of feet, ankles or legs, nerve damage and sudden weight gain.
Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Deaths
A preliminary review of data by the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee in 2017 found that Onglyza could be associated with an increased rate of death. A trial of more than 16,000 patients, known as SAVOR, showed patients taking Onglyza had an increased risk of hospitalizations due to heart failure. While the overall Onglyza trial results did not reveal a higher risk of death, a more detailed analysis found “a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality.”
Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Heart Failure
In one Onglyza (Saxagliptin) trial, 3.5 percent of patients who took the drug were hospitalized for heart failure as opposed to only 2.8 percent of patients who received the placebo drug. This means that about 35 out of every 1,000 patients who took Onglyza developed heart failure. In the SAVOR study, 1,222 of the 16,000 subjects reported a major cardiovascular event, however those results actually proved that AstraZeneca met the threshold for cardiovascular episodes (the threshold is 30 percent), so there was no recall and only a warning regarding heart failure was placed on the Onglyza labeling.
Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Pancreatic Cancer
It is theorized that because Onglyza stimulates the pancreas, changes in the pancreas can occur. In a study which was published in Diabetes medical journal in 2013, it was determined that those using incretin drugs had increases in pancreatic mass as well as cellular changes in the pancreas described as “precancerous.” Physicians and patients have also reported instances of inflammation of the pancreas and pancreatitis, which is often a precursor to pancreatic cancer, which is one of the deadliest types of cancer.
Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Thyroid Cancer
One study followed patients taking Onglyza for at least six months between 2009 and 2011. This study found a thyroid cancer incidence of 29.34 per 100,000 person-years. Overall, the study found a significantly higher risk of thyroid cancer among those taking gliptins, particularly during the first year of use.
Onglyza (Saxagliptin) FDA Warnings
The FDA approved Onglyza, which was jointly manufactured by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb, in 2009. Three years later, Onglyza was bringing in $709 million a year, with sales continuing to climb. After receiving a number of adverse event reports, the FDA added a new warning to Onglyza in 2016. This Onglyza (Saxagliptin) FDA warning detailed an increased risk of hospitalization for heart failure, particularly among those who had existing heart or kidney disease.
Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Lawsuits
As of March 2018, all federally-filed Onglyza (Saxagliptin) lawsuits were moving forward, with all parties directed to transfer a brief summary of their lawsuit addressing the factual allegations in the case, the legal issues involved, and any completed discovery or depositions to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky. Currently, at least 84 Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR lawsuits are pending in this federal MDL in Kentucky. Allegations include the claim that AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb concealed information which linked Onglyza to an increased risk of heart failure and death.
How an Onglyza (Saxagliptin) Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered severe side effects after taking Onglyza, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and, in more severe cases, a wrongful death claim can be filed. It can be extremely beneficial for you to speak to an experienced Onglyza (Saxagliptin) attorney who can help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve.