Januvia is prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes to help control blood sugar levels. It works to regulate the levels of insulin in the body. The FDA approved Januvia in 2006 and it is manufactured by Merck & Co.

In a 2011 study published in the medical journal Gastroenterology, researchers found a link between the use of Januvia and an increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. It was also found that patients who took the drug longer had a higher risk of developing a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.

In Januvia’s first three years on the market, the FDA received reports of 88 cases of acute pancreatitis. 66 of those patients required hospitalization, while four were transferred to the ICU. More than half of the cases were resolved after discontinuing Januvia.

In 2009, the FDA updated Januvia’s label to warn about the risks of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Pancreatitis; – severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fast heart rate
  • Urinating less than usual or not at all
  • Swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath
  • Severe skin reactions, including fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose, sore throat
  • Headache, back pain, joint or muscle pain
  • Nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation
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