Patients expect medications to make their symptoms better. However, some drugs cause serious side effects or make people sicker than they previously were. When this happens, patients and their families hire mass tort lawyers to get the compensation they deserve after suffering injury or illness. One drug that has emerged as a cause for concern is Onglyza.
Onglyza is a medication that helps to control blood sugar. It belongs to a class of drugs called DPP-4 inhibitors and it regulates the level of insulin in the body after eating. It does this by causing the pancreas to produce more insulin and preventing the liver from creating too much sugar.
Onglyza is prescribed for people with Type 2 diabetes and it may be used in conjunction with other diabetes drugs. It was popular because it didn’t cause weight gain like some other diabetes drugs. However, Onglyza has been linked to an increased risk of pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and heart failure.
Side Effects of Using Onglyza
Onglyza is made by AstraZeneca and it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009. Like many other prescription drugs, it causes side effects. The more common of these include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Urinary tract infections
- Sore throat
- Low blood sugar
- Fluid retention
However, patients also allege that they suffered more severe side effects because of their Onglyza use.
Onglyza, Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer
Numerous patients reported developing acute pancreatitis after taking Onglyza. In 2011, these risks were added to the drug’s warnings. Meanwhile, in 2013, a study in the journal Diabetes pointed to a connection between DPP-4 inhibitors and pre-cancerous pancreatic cells. The researchers found that these cancer-causing cells were only present in patients taking DPP-4 or GLP-1 diabetes medications.
Symptoms of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain that gets worse after eating, especially after eating fatty foods
- Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates into the back
- Abdominal swelling
- Stool changes
- Fever accompanied by increased heart rate
- Unexplained weight loss
Onglyza and Heart Failure
A 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Onglyza and similar diabetes medications increased individuals’ risk of being hospitalized for heart failure by 27 percent. This led the FDA to convene a panel to assess the risks. That panel concluded that these drugs should carry a warning indicating the increased risk of developing heart disease, heart attack, and leaky valves.
If you have developed heart failure, your symptoms may include:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Palpitations or fast or irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent cough
- Swollen feet, ankles, or legs
- Bulging neck veins
- Enlarged abdomen
- Weight gain
Herat failure is life-threatening. If you have experienced complications involving the heart or pancreas after taking Onglyza, you need to contact a mass tort attorney for advice. You may be able to join a class-action lawsuit to recover your losses.
What the Onglyza Lawsuits Allege
Some of the lawsuits against AstraZeneca allege that the pharmaceutical company failed to properly test the drug before it went on the market and neglected to warn doctors and patients about the possible side effects. Other lawsuits claim that AstraZeneca continued to promote Onglyza in spite of the risk and used fraudulent marketing strategies.
How Filing a Lawsuit Can Help
Drug manufacturers have a duty to produce medications that are safe when taken as prescribed. If there are risks, they should provide clear warnings to healthcare professionals and consumers. When drug makers fail to fulfill this duty, they can be held liable if a patient suffers harm after taking the drug.
If you developed complications after taking Onglyza, you may be able to claim compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Meanwhile, if you lost a family member to complications caused by Onglyza, you may be eligible to recover funeral and burial expenses and other costs.
Reach Out to the Class Action Lawyer Coalition
If you took Onglyza and suffered serious heart problems, pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer, you should talk to one of our attorneys as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your diagnosis, you may have grounds for filing a lawsuit or joining an existing class action suit. Medication is supposed to heal, not harm.
If your diabetes medication caused you harm, you need to get a legal opinion and learn about what your next steps should be. The Class-Action Lawyer Coalition represents clients nationwide. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and explore your legal options with our experienced mass tort lawyers. You won’t have to pay until you get compensation.