A team of Italian researchers have just reported that they found a significant increase in pancreatitis in users of the incretin-mimetic drugs (Victoza, Januvia and Byetta). Delfino et al, Incretin-Mimetics Associated Pancreatitis: Evidence from the Spontaneous Adverse Drug Reactions Reporting in Italy, Expert Opin Drug Saf, 2013, Nov. 2013 (e pub in pub med).
They found that nearly 50% of serious side effects associated with anti-diabetes drugs involved the incretin mimetics. Of the 1169 reports on this class of drugs, 90 related to the pancreas: 44 were outright pancreatitis and 46 users had elevated pancreatic enzymes. The authors conclude their report by recommending caution of physicians in prescribing these drugs and doing close monitor of uses, including pancreatic enzymes.
There is considerable scientific speculation that pancreatitis may be a precursor to pancreatic cancer. Our firm is representing a New York widow whose husband died of pancreatic cancer after long use of Januvia and Byetta. The case is part of the MDL proceedings in San Diego.