Popular type 2 diabetes drug Tradjenta may cause a devastating autoimmune disease called bullous pemphigoid. This rare skin disorder causes painful blisters to form in various areas of the body. The drug is manufactured by Eli Lilly and Co..
What is Tradjenta?
Tradjenta (linagliptin) is a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. It was approved by The FDA in 2012 as a DPP-4 inhibitor, a relatively new class of diabetes medication. Tradjenta works by regulating the hormone incretin, allowing the body to produce more insulin. Meanwhile, the drug checks glucose levels in the body.
With these two methods, Tradjenta is designed to lower blood glucose levels while stimulating insulin production. This, in combination with diet and exercise, may help control type 2 diabetes symptoms. The problem with Tradjenta is that it may cause bullous pemphigoid, a painful skin disorder that causes large blisters to form across the body.
What is Bullous Pemphigoid?
Bullous pemphigoid is an acute or chronic autoimmune skin disease that is characterized by the formation of blisters, or bullae, between the first and second layers of skin. These blisters are generally difficult to rupture or drain. The disease is often described as incredibly painful by those diagnosed. In addition to increased age, there are numerous risk factors in developing bullous pemphigoid including:
- Bedridden condition
- Parkinson’s disease
- Unipolar or bipolar disorder
- Chronic use of spironolactone
- Chronic analgesic use
Bullous Pemphigoid Symptoms
Bullous Pemphigoid has a distinct set of painful symptoms. Those who live with the disease often face painful episodes that may be resistant to treatment. If you or a loved one has experienced any of the following symptoms after being exposed to Tradjenta, contact your doctor immediately:
- Unusual fluid filled blisters
- Unusual skin pain
It is important to note that only your doctor can properly diagnose Bullous Pemphigoid.
Bullous Pemphigoid Causes
Little is known about bullous pemphigoid, though a recent study published in the US National Library of Medicine linked the disease to Dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitors, which includes Tradjenta. These patients showed a direct correlation between these type 2 diabetes drugs and the painful autoimmune disorder.