Nesina may cause a painful autoimmune disorder known as bullous pemphigoid.
Nesina (alogliptin) is an oral medication used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The drug was developed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals and gained FDA approval in 2013. However, it may cause a serious unwanted side effect from use.
Nesina has been reported to potentially cause a devastating autoimmune disorder, bullous pemphigoid, which causes large blisters to form across the body.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition that affects the body’s ability to properly regulate blood glucose levels. This happens when the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin which helps convert blood glucose (blood sugar) into energy.
This can cause the body to destructively seek energy from fat, muscles and organs. The main cause of type 2 diabetes is poor diet and lack of exercise. It usually develops slowly, with over 80 million Americans showing “pre-diabetic” symptoms. Some of these early warning signs include:
- Constant hunger
- Lack of energy
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Itchy skin
- Blurry vision
As the disease progresses, and blood sugar levels continue to raise and additional symptoms may include:
- Yeast infections
- Slow-healing cuts or sores
- Dark patches on your skin
- Foot pain
- Feelings of numbness in your extremities, or neuropathy
If you have experienced two or more of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
How Does Nesina Work?
Nesina (alogliptin) is administered as a once daily oral pill, used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It works by regulating the body’s insulin levels after eating. Like other DPP-4 inhibitor medications (Januvia, Onglyza, Tradjenta etc.), Nesina blocks the action of DPP-4, an enzyme which handles the incretin hormone.
Incretins aid in the production of insulin when it is needed and reduce the amount of glucose being produced by the liver when it is not needed. Since Nesina aids in pancreatic function, it has been proposed that this “over stimulation” may be the cause of some of the drug’s side effects.
What is Bullous Pemphigoid?
Bullous pemphigoid is a painful condition that causes large, fluid filled blisters to form under the first and second layers of the skin. These blisters, or bullae, are usually firm to the touch and difficult to rupture. Bullae can form anywhere on the body, but often cluster in the arm, leg, and groin pits.
Bullous pemphigoid is very painful and can leave redness and scarring after the blisters heal. Only a doctor can properly diagnose and treat bullous pemphigoid. However, if you or a loved one have experienced any of the following symptoms while taking Nesina, contact your health care provider immediately:
- Blisters on the arms, legs, abdomen and mucous membranes
- Red rash develops before the blisters
- Large blisters (over quarter size) filled with clear fluid, but may contain some blood
- Thick blisters that do not rupture easily
- Blisters deep in skin
- Red skin around blister area
- Sensitive and painful blisters once ruptured
- Hives and itching