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Januvia

The Januvia injury case attorneys at the Drug Law Center are currently representing many patients who have suffered serious harm or families who lost a loved one after taking the antidiabetic medication.

Introduction

Januvia Drug RecallJanuvia (sitagliptin) is a prescription oral diabetes drug developed by Merck & Company to control the body’s blood sugar levels. The drug is effective because it regulates insulin levels in the body after eating. The medication has been approved to treat Type II diabetes and is not effective for Type I diabetes. The FDA approved the medication in October 2006 to be used alone or concomitantly with other diabetic drugs.

The History of Januvia

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Januvia in its generic form sitagliptin phosphate in October 2006 to be available to consumers in tablet form for the treatment of Type II diabetes. The first brand label version of sitagliptin manufactured by Merck & Company was called Janumet. The medication is a Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 (DPP-4) Inhibitor drug designed to be used alone or concomitantly with exercise and diet. Doctors often prescribe Januvia to improve the patient’s glycemic control when treating their Type II diabetes mellitus.

Januvia has been available in the medical marketplace since 2006. Even before it was launched and made available to the public, the popular Type II diabetes medication had been linked to serious life-threatening side effects. these include thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, and pancreatitis. As early as 2009, The Food and Drug Administration identified nearly 90 cases of pancreatitis involving Janumet and Januvia between October 2006 and February 2009 alone. Two of these cases involved necrotizing and hemorrhagic pancreatitis.

By 2011, The Federal agency announced to the public that they would be “evaluating unpublished new findings by a group of academic researchers that suggest an increased risk of pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, and pre-cancerous cellular changes called pancreatic duct metaplasia in patients with Type II diabetes treated with a class of drugs called incretin mimetics.”

Januvia Recall

No Januvia recall has yet been made by the FDA even though drug safety experts continue to warn the public and doctors that diabetes treatment drugs like Januvia, Janumet, and sitagliptin are linked to the development of thyroid and pancreatic cancer. In addition, Merck & Company has taken no action to voluntarily recall their defective drug from the medical marketplace.

Who Should Avoid Taking Januvia?

Januvia (sitagliptin) should not be taken by individuals with Type I diabetes or those with diabetic ketoacidosis. Before taking Januvia or its generic form sitagliptin, you need to discuss with your doctor. any contraindicated condition you had or currently have including:

  • Acute kidney disease
  • Moderate to severe kidney impairment
  • Gallbladder stones
  • Elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels
  • Low blood sugar
  • Angioedema (swelling of the legs, arms, throat, tongue, lips, or face)

This is because Januvia is known to increase the potential risk of developing life-threatening pancreatitis when the pancreas inflames and become swollen. In addition, patients should discuss with their doctor if they had any issues with the pancreas, that could include a loss of appetite, fast heartbeat, upper stomach severe pain, and severe vomiting or nausea.

Januvia Side Effects

Like any over-the-counter drug or prescription medication, Januvia also has mild to severe side effects. The most infrequent Januvia side effects include:

  • Head pain
  • Acute infection of the science, throat or nose
  • Throat irritation

Rare but problematic side effects of Januvia include:

  • Acute renal failure
  • Acute pancreas inflammation
  • Blood vessel inflammation under the skin
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Low blood sugar
  • Near fatal allergic reactions
  • Pancreas inflammation associated with necrotic (dead) tissue
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Joint pain muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Backache
  • Throwing up
  • The sensation of needing to throw up
  • Stomach cramps
  • Pain and discomfort in the legs or arms
  • Skin rash involving sloughing
  • Abnormal Liver Function Tests

Lawsuits

Many attorneys file lawsuits on behalf of their clients are basing their cases on the alleged correlation between taking Januvia, another brand name diabetic medication, or the generic form sitagliptin and the development of pancreatic cancer. this link is especially problematic for patients because pancreatic cancer is typically a highly lethal malignant disease that has no known effective medical therapy. Cancer of the pancreas usually claims the life of the patient who is suffering an advanced stage in just a few weeks or months’ time after the initial diagnosis.

Attorneys will file Januvia lawsuits on behalf of their clients have made claims that Merck & Company knew that the medication was defective and had the increased potential of developing pancreatic cancer in patients taking the drug. Most of the filed lawsuits are based on known facts that include:

  • Merck understood, or should have understood, that Januvia posed a significant potential risk of developing pancreatic cancer, and chose to conceal the information from doctors, the medical community, consumers, and individual patients who had been prescribed the drug.
  • The warnings Merck & Company posted on the Januvia labeling are inadequate and failed to mention the potential risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • The drug maker failed to inform doctors and the medical community that it was important to monitor Januvia users to look for any indicators or changes of the pancreas that might indicate the development of cancer.
  • The drug maker failed to perform any adequate safety test to ensure that consumers’ health and well-being were protected when taking the medication.
  • Merck & Company chose to continue marketing, promoting and selling Januvia (sitagliptin) as an effective and safe treatment for diabetes instead of pulling the medication from the medical marketplace or issuing stronger black box warnings.
  • While Merck successfully overly promoted their diabetic medications, they underperformed when warning consumers, patients, doctors, and the medical community about his life-threatening risks.

Many plaintiff attorneys are seeking financial recompense on behalf of their clients to include numerous damages including ongoing medical expenses, lost income, the inability to produce income in the future, pain, suffering, mental anxiety, and in some cases, funeral expenses for a wrongful death.

Today, Januvia lawsuits have not been consolidated into a Class Action Suit. In recent months, the US District Court for The Southern District of California has approved motions to consolidate Januvia cases with other diabetic drug lawsuits to eliminate duplicate discovery and provide more consistent rulings while giving access to all available resources to every party involved.

Januvia Lawsuits

  • Michigan Woman Files Januvia Pancreatitis Lawsuit against Merck & Company

September 2014 – Merck & Company is facing another Januvia pancreatitis lawsuit, this time by a Michigan woman who alleges that the popular type II diabetic medication is linked to her developed pancreatitis. The plaintiff’s doctor first prescribed Januvia in 2004. By 2012, she had developed pancreatitis and was experiencing unexplained symptoms. Lawsuit documents reveal that pancreatitis can be caused by numerous factors.

Even though pancreatitis is a treatable condition, it is usually the precursor to developing pancreatic cancer, one of the fastest growing and most aggressive forms of cancer. Lawyers filed her Type II diabetes drug lawsuit in December 2012 after learning there was a correlation between pancreatic cancer/pancreatitis and taking Januvia. Her attorneys are claiming that the plaintiff was unaware of the medication causes specific complications. It was only after she received a proper disclosure that she realized she had made an unreasonable decision. The plaintiff blames Merck & company for their failure to list all known Januvia side effects on their packaging.

  • Januvia Pancreatic Cancer Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed against Merck & Company

April 2014 – Merck & Company is facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the wife of a patient who is taking Januvia, developed pancreatic cancer who later died from the condition. Lawsuit documents reveal that doctors prescribed Januvia to the husband in 2007 to control his Type II diabetes symptoms to enjoy his day-to-day existence. He stopped taking the medication in October 2010 after learning he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He soon began suffering severe medical complications associated with the disease.

Documents reveal that the patient was unaware of the potential Januvia side effects including the development of pancreatic cancer. This is because there were no indications or warnings on the label of the drug nor had Merck and Company directed the patient to review any relevant studies. The plaintiff in the case, the wife of the deceased husband, is holding Merck and Company financially responsible because of their failure to warn her husband, his doctors, the medical community, and consumers of all the known side effects of Januvia.

The wife is claiming that had her husband understood the potentially serious side effects of taking Januvia, he likely would have avoided taking the drug, and chosen other forms of treatment, to eliminate the possibility of developing life-threatening pancreatic cancer. The case is built on Merck and Company’s negligence, concealment of information, false advertising, and product misrepresentation.

  • Januvia Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed against Merck by West Virginia Widow

August 2014 – A Januvia wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Merck & Company, this time by a West Virginia plaintiff who alleges that her husband died from taking Januvia, a popular Type II diabetes mellitus treatment medication. The plaintiff in the case stated that her husband began experiencing painful symptoms after doctors prescribed Januvia in October 2010.

By June 2012, the man’s doctors diagnosed him with fatal pancreatic cancer. He died one month later in July 2012. The lawsuit is based on false advertising, wrongful death, negligence, product misrepresentation and concealing known negative information about Januvia.

Time had passed before the widow became aware of the correlation of developing pancreatic cancer and taking Januvia. At that time, she filed a Januvia wrongful death lawsuit against the drug make the wrongful death was the result of their failure to warn her husband, other consumers, other patients, doctors, and the medical community of the potential side effects of the medication. The widow claims that had her husband been aware of the potential risks involved including the development of pancreatic cancer, he would have avoided taking the drug and likely chosen other options for treating his diabetic condition.

Januvia Attorneys Provide Free Case Reviews

The Januvia injury case attorneys at the Drug Law Center are currently offering free case reviews to patients who have suffered serious injuries or died prematurely after taking the diabetic medication. In addition, our law firm is postponing payment of our legal services until we successfully resolve your case through our “No Win / No Payment” Guarantee. Do not hesitate to contact us now to begin the process of reviewing your case to provide you every legal option to proceed.

Our personal injury attorneys specialize in cases just like yours and have successfully resolved medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death recompense claims to ensure that our clients receive compensation for all of their damages. Our team of attorneys fights aggressively on your behalf against the drug maker and any other party who caused your damages. All information you share with our law offices will always remain confidential.

Sources:
https://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/drugsafety/ucm204269.pdf
https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm183768.htm
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/021995s019lbl.pdf
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/oral-diabetes-medications
http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/sitagliptin-oral-route/description/drg-20069730

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