Onglyza (sazagliptin) belongs to a new group of drugs, called DPP-4 inhibitors, used to treat type 2 diabetes. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2009.
Since then Onglyza has been associated with numerous life threatening side effects. This has led to a number of patients diagnosed with heart failure, heart attack, or stroke while taking Onglyza to seek the assistance of a product liability firm like ours.
Onglyza and Type 2 Diabetes
More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. This massive base of consumers have given drug companies like AstraZeneca reason to invest large sums of money in research and development into new medications used to treat type 2 diabetes.
Onglyza belongs to a “next generation” group of diabetes meds called DPP-4 inhibitors. These drugs work by inhibiting the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4). This stimulates the activity of incretins, which play an important role in insulin secretion and blood glucose control regulation.
This type of drug was first characterized the late 1990s and rose to prevalence in the late 2000s with the FDA approval of Januvia (Sitagliptin), Galvus (Vildagliptin), Onglyza (Saxagliptin), and Tradjenta (Linagliptin). All of these DPP-4 inhibitor drugs have faced scrutiny after reports to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) indicate they have dangerous side effects.
Major side effects that may be associated with Onglyza include:
- Bullous Pemphigoid – A painful autoimmune condition that causes large blisters between the inner layers of the skin. It is almost always described as “extremely painful.”
- Heart Attack – A sudden and sometimes fatal occurrence of coronary thrombosis, typically resulting in the death of part of a heart muscle.
- Heart Failure – A chronic disease that causes the heart to not be able to pump blood as it usually would. Heart failure is often fatal.
- Stroke – Damage to the brain from interruption of its blood supply.
If you or a loved one has experienced any of these conditions while on, or after taking, Onglyza you are not alone.
Onglyza and Bullous Pemphigoid
There is a painful and embarrassing condition that may occur with Onglyza use. Certain DPP-4 inhibitor class drugs, including Onglyza, may be linked to the debilitating autoimmune disease bullous pemphigoid. This disease is usually characterized by large, fluid filled blisters that are hard to rupture. They form under the first and second layers of skin and usually cluster in the pits and folds of the body, such as the armpits, groin, elbows, knee pits and across the torso.
It is thought that Onglyza’s over stimulation of the pancreas may contribute to bullous pemphigoid. Based in part on these reports, the manufacturer of Onglyza amended the label in January, 2017 to warn of the risk of bullous pemphigoid.
Onglyza And Heart Failure
Contrary to popular thought, heart failure is a long term disease and not a single event of the heart stopping. Heart Failure causes a weakened heart, which prevents the organ from properly circulating blood through the body. Left undiagnosed or untreated, heart failure is almost always fatal. You should contact your doctor immediately if you or anyone you know develops the following signs or symptoms:
- Unusual shortness of breath during daily activities
- Trouble breathing when lying down
- Tiredness, weakness, or fatigue
- Weight gain with swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, or stomach
Onglyza And Heart Attack
DPP-4 inhibitor drugs including Onglyza may also cause heart problems that could result in a heart attack. Some consumer watchdog groups have called for tougher regulation on DPP-4 inhibitor drugs.
Onglyza And Stroke
It has also been reported that Onglyza may cause stoke complications. If you or a loved one has experienced any of the following symptoms while taking Onglyza, contact your doctor immediately:
- F: Face drooping. Ask the person to smile, and see if one side is drooping. One side of the face may also be numb, and the smile may appear uneven.
- A: Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms. Is there weakness or numbness on one side? One arm drifting downward is a sign of one-sided arm weakness.
- S: Speech difficulty. People having a stroke may slur their speech or have trouble speaking at all. Speech may be incomprehensible. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence and look for any speech abnormality.
- T: Time to call 9-1-1! If a person shows any of the symptoms above, even if the symptoms went away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to a hospital immediately.
This self monitoring technique is known as the FAST system. While it is by no means a comprehensive symptoms list, it may help save your life through quick action.