By Dr Rakesh Ramakrishna Sonawane, MD Pharmacology
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently issued warnings for two commonly used drugs for type 2 diabetes. Read the article carefully if you or your loved one is on any medication for the treatment of diabetes.
1 . DPP-4 inhibitors (common brand names : Janumet, Galvus Met, Januvia, Istamet, Jalra-M)
Drugs belonging to the class DPP-4 inhibitors with salts like sitagliptin, saxagliptin, linagliptin, and alogliptin are used in people with type 2 diabetes to control blood sugar levels. These medicines are available as single-ingredient products and in combination with other diabetes medicines such as metformin.
What is the warning?
FDA has issued a warning that these medicines (sitagliptin, saxagliptin, linagliptin, and alogliptin) may cause joint pain that can be severe and disabling. FDA has added a new warning about this risk to the labels of all medicines in this drug class. The warning was issued after few patients reported having severe joint pains while taking these medicines. The pain settled when they stopped taking the medicines.
Patients are advised not to stop taking their medicine, but contact their doctor right away if they experience severe and persistent joint pain.
2 . Canagliflozin (common brand names : Invokana, Sulisent)
Canagliflozin is a medicine prescribed for diabetes management to help in controlling blood sugar levels. Canagliflozin lowers blood sugar by causing the kidneys to remove sugar from the body through the urine.
What is the warning?
According to new data released by FDA, fractures occur more frequently in people who take canagliflozin. Fractures can occur as early as 12 weeks after starting the drug. It was also noted that the drug decreases bone mineral density at the hip and lower spine. A study conducted over two years in 714 elderly individuals showed that canagliflozin caused greater loss of bone mineral density at the hip and lower spine than a placebo.
Patients taking this medicine should not stop taking this medicine without consulting their doctor.