Victoza is a Type-2 diabetes medication that patients can inject to help them control their blood sugar levels after eating. Sadly, clinical studies and adverse event reports are now showing that people who use Victoza are 3.7 times more likely to develop pancreatitis than patients who take other diabetes medications. Victoza has also been linked to thyroid cancer, kidney problems, and severe allergic reactions.
The pharmaceutical product liability lawyers at Kelley Law Group, P.C. are currently investigating Victoza lawsuits on behalf of people who suffered personal harm or the loss of a loved one as a result of using this diabetes medication. If you have suffered pancreatitis or another Victoza side effect, you may be owed compensation for your damages. Call us today at 1-888-554-2889 to learn more in a free legal consultation. We offer:
- Cost- and obligation-free consultations with a Victoza attorney
- Flexible appointments, including home and hospital visits
- No legal fees unless your case is successful
Victoza (liraglutide) is prescribed to patients with Type-2 diabetes, along with diet and exercise modifications, to help them control their glucose (blood sugar) levels. When a person has Type-2 diabetes, he or she suffers from chronic cellular insulin resistance that makes it difficult to keep blood sugar levels under control. When patients inject Victoza, the drug acts similarly to the hormone GLP-1, which tells the pancreas to process more insulin.
Victoza was approved by the FDA in 2010, and is made by Novo Nordisk. At the time of Victoza’s approval, three FDA drug safety experts opposed the approval because they felt that the drug’s association with acute pancreatitis, thyroid cancer, allergic reactions, and kidney failure needed to be further investigated to ensure consumer safety.
On June 13, 2011, the FDA mandated that Novo Nordisk send a letter to healthcare professionals after studies showed that some doctors were not aware of the strong association between Victoza and pancreatitis. As of this date, there were at least 200 cases of acute pancreatitis and 28 cases of pancreatic cancer reported in the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System in relation to Victoza. According to the FDA, patients who start Victoza and patients who are prescribed an increased dose of Victoza should be closely monitored for signs of pancreatitis.
- Potential Victoza pancreatitis symptoms include:
- Pain or tenderness in the abdominal area
- Feelings of illness, including nausea, sweating, vomiting, and fever
- Clay-colored stools
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Abdominal swelling
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes, known as jaundice
If pancreatitis is severe, the pancreas can lose its blood supply, which could cause it to die. Pancreas inflammation can also lead to multiple organ-system failure and death. When the pancreas begins to die (becomes necrotic), surgery is needed to remove the dead or dying tissue, and the risk of death rises from 10% to more than 40%.
Other Victoza Side Effects
In addition to acute pancreatitis, Victoza has been linked to the following life-threatening side effects:
Victoza Thyroid Cancer
In the June 13, 2011 letter from the FDA, doctors were cautioned that Victoza has been known to cause thyroid cancer in rodents who were given doses of the drug proportionate to the dosage that a human would receive. In numbers released from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System, it has been reported that the agency received 25 accounts of Victoza thyroid cancer from February 2010 to September 2011.
The thyroid is a gland which produces hormones which regulate heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, and body weight. Possible signs of Victoza thyroid cancer include:
- Respiratory trouble
- Trouble swallowing
- Lumps in the neck
Victoza Kidney Impairment
A new warning was added to Victoza packaging in May 2011, cautioning users about the link between Victoza and renal (kidney) impairment. In the warning, users are warned that renal impairment “has been reported postmarketing, usually in association with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration which may sometimes require hemodialysis.” Doctors are advised to “use caution when initiating escalating doses of Victoza in patients with renal impairment.”
The advocacy group Public Citizen petitioned the FDA for a Victoza recall in April 2012, based on claims that the risks of the drug outweigh any clinical benefits because the drug puts users at risk for pancreatitis, thyroid cancer, allergic reactions, and kidney problems.
According to Public Citizen director Sidney Wolfe, MD, “More and more people are taking this drug, and more people are experiencing serious health problems as a result. Clearly, the FDA’s warning system is not sufficient. The drug should be taken off the market.”
According to a number of Victoza lawyers, Novo Nordisk jeopardized consumer safety in the interest of profit when they marketed Victoza without adequate warnings and with the knowledge that severe side effects should have led to a recall of the drug. Because of this corporate greed, more than 150,000 prescriptions for Victoza are filled every month in the United States, placing thousands of patients in harm’s way. The dangerous drug lawyers at Kelley Law Group, P.C. are experienced in pharmaceutical product liability litigation, and we are currently investigating a number of Victoza lawsuits.
If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of taking Victoza, you may be entitled to significant compensation. To learn more about your rights, contact a personal injury lawyer at Kelley Law Group, P.C. to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
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