Victoza (liraglutide) is a new injection medication that is used by adults with Type-2 Diabetes to help control their blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating a meal. Unfortunately, clinical studies show that people taking Victoza are 3.7-times more likely to develop pancreatitis compared to people taking other diabetes medications. Victoza pancreatitis is an extremely painful, debilitating condition that occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed suddenly. In serious cases, pancreatic tissue can die, cause multiple organ system failure, and death.
What You Can Do & How a Victoza Pancreatitis Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Victoza pancreatitis injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Victoza, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Victoza Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Victoza (liraglutide) is a medication used along with diet and exercise to help adults with Type-2 diabetes control their blood sugar (glucose) level. People with Type-2 diabetes have a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by cellular insulin resistance and difficulty controlling their blood sugar. Victoza is an injection medication that works by mimicking the actions of a hormone called GLP-1. This hormone tells the pancreas to produce more insulin.
Victoza was invented by the drug company Novo Nordisk. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010, against the recommendation of three drug-safety experts employed by the FDA. These experts were concerned that Victoza has been linked to a higher risk of thyroid cancer, acute pancreatitis, kidney failure, allergic reactions, and more.
Victoza is not intended to be a first-line treatment for diabetes. There are 11 other classes of diabetes drugs already available, with a longer safety history, no risk of thyroid cancer, and a lower risk of pancreatitis.
Victoza and Pancreatitis
UPDATE: June 13, 2011 — The FDA has required Novo Nordisk to send a letter to healthcare professionals because a recent assessment showed that some primary some care providers are not fully aware of the serious risks associated with Victoza. In the letter, Novo Nordisk warned that Victoza causes thyroid cancer in rodents given doses comparable to human doses. It is not known whether Victoza causes thyroid cancer in humans, but the studies in rodents are a warning sign. Furthermore, the letter stated:
“In clinical trials studying Victoza, there were more cases of pancreatitis in patients treated with Victoza than in patients treated with comparators.”
Consumer Group Calls for Ban of Victoza
In April 2012, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen sent a petition to the FDA, calling for the drug to be immediately banned from the U.S. market. They cited numerous safety concerns, including:
- In clinical trials, pancreatitis was 3.7-times more common in patients taking Victoza compared to patients taking other diabetes drugs
- There were at least 200 cases of acute pancreatitis in Victoza patients during the first 17 months of the drug’s approval. Because only around 10% of cases are ever reported to the FDA, the actual number may have been 2,000 cases of acute pancreatitis. The total number of acute pancreatitis cases is likely far greater today, more than three years since Victoza was approved
- Victoza was approved against the recommendation of three drug-safety experts at the FDA, who said that the risks of this medication outweigh its benefits
- There are already 11 other diabetes medications that are as effective as Victoza, but do not have a risk of malignant thyroid C-cell tumors, and have a lower risk of acute pancreatitis.
- No other drugs approved by the FDA cause thyroid C-cell tumors
- In clinical trials, papillary thyroid cancer was 3-times more common, and proliferation of thyroid C-cells was 2.4-times more common
What is Acute Pancreatitis?
Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation and swelling of the pancreas. The pancreas is a digestive gland that also produces hormones, such as insulin. Many anti-diabetes drugs target the pancreas, and acute pancreatitis is a common side effect of these drugs. However, clinical trials have shown the risk is higher for people taking Victoza.
If severe, the pancreas can lose its blood supply. Deprived of blood, the pancreatic tissue begins to die (this is called pancreatic necrosis). Severe inflammation of the pancreas can cause an uncontrolled inflammatory response, leading to multiple organ-system failure and death. Death can also occur in a later stage of acute pancreatitis, if the necrotic pancreatic tissue becomes infected. If this occurs, most people will need surgery to remove the necrotic tissue, and the risk of death rises from 10% to more than 40%.
Symptoms of Victoza Pancreatitis
The pancreas is located in the upper-left side or middle of the abdomen. The first symptom of Victoza pancreatitis is usually abdominal pain where the pancreas is located. This pain may get worse after the patient eats or drinks, especially for foods that are high in fat. The pain usually grows steadily worse over the course of several days, and may spread to the back or below the left shoulder blade.
Symptoms of Victoza pancreatitis may include:
- Abdominal pain or tenderness
- Feeling ill (fever, nausea, vomiting, sweating)
- Clay-colored stools
- Swollen abdomen
- Rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing
- Mild yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
Do I have a Victoza Pancreatitis Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Victoza pancreatitis injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Victoza, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Victoza Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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