Diabetes Drugs and Their Dangerous Side Effects

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Losing weight and maintaining a balanced diet are still the safest ways to combat the complications of type 2 diabetes.

For those, however, who have uncontrolled blood sugar level, diabetes drugs are the next choice. Bad news is, some of these drugs have side effects, which could be worse than the complications of type 2 diabetes.

Take the case of metformin. While metformin is considered the safest diabetes drug there is, its benefits do not come without dangerous side effect. Metformin carries a black box warning for lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is characterized by the excessive presence of lactic acid in the blood. The buildup of lactic acid in the blood is potentially fatal as it leads to cellular suffocation.

Meanwhile, the drugs Januvia (sitagliptin) and Byetta (exenatide) increase their users’ risk for pancreatitis. The glucagon-like peptide present in these drugs could lead to ductal hyperplasia and inflammation in the pancreas. Previous studies showed that sitagliptin and exenatide raised the danger of having pancreatitis six times, in comparison to other type 2 diabetes drugs.

Januvia was introduced in the U.S. market in 2006 while Byetta was approved in 2005.

Another diabetes drug, Victoza (liraglutide), approved by the FDA in January 2010 was linked to yet another dangerous side effect: thyroid cancer. Victoza is an injection administered under the skin of the stomach, thigh, or upper arm. It is commonly administered, with or without food, on a daily basis.

Last are the two thiazolidinediones (TZDs) namely Actos (pioglitazone) and Avandia (rosiglitazone).

In 2011, three comprehensive studies connected Actos use to 40 percent increased risk for bladder cancer. After less than a year, another study confirmed the Actos bladder cancer link, but this time, to different figure: a stunning 83 percent increased risk. Actos has also been linked to damages to the kidney (rhabdomyolysis) and the liver, bone fracture, heart ailments and death.

Avandia, on the other hand, triggers cardiovascular problems, which caused 83 thousand heart attacks in eights years in the period that started 1999.

 

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