Q: How is diabetes treated?
An estimated 26 million Americans have diabetes. Most patients can treat the disease with a combination of diet and exercise. Patients who need additional help managing their blood sugar levels can often turn to prescription diabetes drugs.
Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may receive a prescription for a type of medication called incretin mimetics. These drugs are designed to increase the body's absorption of glucose and pancreas's production of insulin. This dual-action drug treatment approach can help many patients lower their blood sugar levels. Some diabetes medications can also speed the pace of digestion, another contributing factor to diabetes.
Q: What are Jentadueto and Tradjenta?
Jentadueto and Tradjenta are two fairly recent additions to medicine cabinets nationwide. Marketed by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim, they are designed to lower blood sugar levels by reducing glucose buildup in diabetes patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed off on Tradjenta in May 2011 and Jentadueto in January 2012.
Jentadueto and Tradjenta are similar drugs, but not identical ones. Tradjenta's key ingredient is Linagliptin, which seeks to increase the pancreas's production of insulin. Around the time Tradjenta reached the market, a series of studies endorsed treating diabetes patients with a combination of Linagliptin and Metformin, another diabetes drug. Jentadueto was designed to offer such a combination to patients in a single drug. Many medical sources treat Jentadueto and Tradjenta as essentially the same drug.
Q: Are there Jentadueto and Tradjenta side effects?
There are a number of Jentadueto and Tradjenta side effects to know about. Many of these side effects are common concerns for patients with diabetes. You should contact a medical professional if you experience any of the following:
Patients may experience a number of digestive side effects too. Bloating, constipation, darkened urine, fever, indigestion, loss of appetite, stomach pains, vomiting, and yellowed skin or eyes are considered rare but significant side effects. Patients who experience any of these should speak with their doctor. For most patients, alternative diabetes medications are available. Doctors may be able to switch you to a drug with fewer side effects.
Q: Is there a risk of pancreatitis?
More serious Jentadueto and Tradjenta side effects exist as well. Medical researchers have found an association between the use of incretin mimetic drugs and an increased risk pancreatitis (the inflammation of the pancreas). Some reports have detailed cases where patients passed away from acute pancreatitis after taking Tradjenta.
This concern has spurred the FDA to take action. On March 18, 2013, the FDA issued a drug safety communication to the public. This communication warned doctors and patients that research had found "an increased risk of pancreatitis . . . in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with a class of drugs called incretin mimetics." Since June 2013, every incretin mimetic drug has included information about this risk on its label.
Q: Is there a risk of pancreatic cancer?
There is growing concern that incretin mimetics may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. In March 2013, a research study found that a small group of patients who took incretin mimetics developed pancreatic-duct metaplasia, a cellular change that can precede pancreatic cancer. Similar concerns have been expressed by medical publications. In June 2013, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published the results of an investigation that found drug companies hadn't told doctors and patients of the risk of pancreatic cancer associated with incretin mimetic treatment. The FDA has informed the public about this risk, but so far has not taken further action.
Q: How can I learn more about Jentadueto and Tradjenta side effects?
Speak with your doctor if you have concerns about taking Jentadueto and Tradjenta. If you or someone you know has suffered health problems after taking these drugs, consider speaking with an attorney.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.