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Are Diabetes Drugs Linked to Pancreatic Cancer?

Some popular diabetes drugs have been linked to problems with the pancreas. The FDA recently issued a warning about an increased risk of pancreatitis and pre-cancerous changes in the pancreas. The drugs involved are used to treat type 2 diabetes. They include Byetta, Bydureon, Janumet, Januvia, Jentadueto, Juvisync, Kaszano, Kombiglyze XR, Nesina, Onglyza, Oseni, Tradjenta and Victoza.

The agency referred to research published last month in JAMA Internal Medicine and unpublished findings that raised concerns about abnormal cellular changes in the pancreas. Prescribing information already warns doctors that such medications can cause inflammation of the pancreas, but the specter of pancreatic cancer is new.

FDA has not yet determined how serious the threat may be, but it warns patients to continue taking their diabetes medicines until they can discuss the issue with their physicians.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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