Victoza (liraglutide) is an injectable diabetes drug manufactured by Novo Nordisk. The drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2010. Victoza is a type of drug known as a GLP-1 mimetic, which attempts to mimic the GLP-1 hormone that can lower blood sugar in people who suffer from diabetes. The drug is meant to be injected once per day. Over one million American diabetes patients use Victoza or another GLP-1 drug daily to control their blood sugar levels.
Contact one of our Victoza lawyers if you or a loved one has experienced adverse effects from this medication.
Victoza Side Effects
This drug slows the digestive process, which causes an imbalance in the body’s blood sugar level. The Food and Drug Administration has linked Victoza to a number of possibly fatal side effects, including pancreatitis and cancerous tumors. There is an established link between Victoza and thyroid tumors in animals, and a probable link between Victoza and medullary cancer.
Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is always incredibly painful and sometimes deadly. Other possible side-effects include hypoglycemia, loss of consciousness, extreme weakness, and irregular heartbeat.
Anyone who has experienced these or other side effects from Victoza should document their condition to discuss with an attorney.
Although the drug has been successful in controlling blood sugar levels in patients, it has also been linked to severe medical conditions. Pancreatitis, an inflammation in the pancreas which can be fatal, is one of the most severe side-effects that has been associated with Victoza. In March 2013, the FDA released information from unpublished studies that it believed there may be a possible link between Victoza and pancreatic cancer.
Victoza trials were carefully reviewed by the FDA for cases of pancreatitis, a side effect associated with other diabetic medications that work in a similar manner to this medicine.
In five clinical trials including more than 3,900 people, there were seven cases of pancreatitis in patients using Victoza and one case in a patient using another diabetes medicine.
There are two different types of pancreatitis: acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis. Both types are very serious and if not treated can lead to death.
- Acute Pancreatitis: This is a form of pancreatitis that is marked by rapid onset. If treated in a timely manner, the pancreas will return to normal size and the swelling will subside within days.
- Chronic Pancreatitis: This form of pancreatitis does not normally heal or improve condition. The inflammation can become worse over time, and in some cases, cause serious damage.
In addition to pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer has also been a serious concern associated with Victoza.
Several diabetes drugs have been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a particularly troubling cancer as it rarely shows any signs or symptoms of its presence until the tumor has grown large enough to be a life-threatening concern. Pancreatic cancer can also be brought on by pancreatitis.
UCLA researchers determined that GLP-1 drugs increase the mass of the pancreas. Additionally, according to a study published in Gastroenterology, people who take these drugs to help manage diabetes are 2.7 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. Here is a list of common symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer.
- Upper abdominal pain that radiates to your back
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss without reason
- Feelings of depression
- Blood clots
Additionally, it is believed that the risk of thyroid tumors is greatly increased when using Victoza. These tumors can lead to cancer of the thyroid, which can be fatal if not treated in a timely manner. The FDA has stated that it is difficult to tell whether or not GLP-1 type drugs can cause thyroid cancer in humans, however, studies continue to be ongoing.
What is Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer develops in the tissues of the thyroid gland, also known as the Adam’s Apple. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing several important hormones, such as the thyroid hormone and calcitonin.
The thyroid hormone is involved in controlling body temperature, weight, energy level and heart rate. Calcitonin allows the body to use calcium more efficiently.
Neck pain, voice changes, breathing problems, coughing and trouble swallowing are all symptoms linked to thyroid cancer, according to CancerCenter.com.
- Neck pain: Neck pain usually starts in the front of the neck, but in some cases, neck pain can spread all the way to the ears.
- Voice changes: If you experience a raspy or hoarse voice that does not go away, it may be a sign of thyroid cancer.
- Breathing problems: Some thyroid cancer patents say it is as though they are trying to breathe through a straw. This breathing issue is often a symptom of the disease.
- Coughing: If you have a cough that persists and is not related to a cold or other allergies, it may be a sign of the disease.
- Trouble swallowing: You may have a tough time swallowing if a growth or nodule is present on the thyroid gland.
Victoza Pancreatic Cancer Recall
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet issued a recall for Victoza despite the drug being linked to serious complications. The FDA is currently investigating studies that have linked GLP-1 drugs to pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and thyroid cancer.
UCLA researchers determined that GLP-1 drugs increase the mass of the pancreas. Additionally, according to a study published in Gastroenterology, people who take these drugs to help manage diabetes are 2.7 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
Despite the negative side-effects and potentially life-threatening issues, Victoza is still being prescribed to millions of Americans suffering from diabetes.
Although Victoza has not yet been recalled, you can still pursue a lawsuit with a dedicated lawyer if you or someone you care about has been harmed by the drug.
Can an Attorney Help Me File a Victoza Lawsuit?
Our Victoza lawyers can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by this drug. However, the following criteria must be met to file a lawsuit against Novo Nordisk:
- Suffered from pancreatic cancer
- Took the drug for at least one year prior to diagnosis
To learn more, call our experienced attorneys today.