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The New England Journal of Medicine reported that double-blind, placebo control testing was performed on 16,492 patients in 26 countries concerning DPP-4 therapies. DPP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors) therapies include Saxagliptin otherwise known as Onglyzan by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb. The study took approximately 2 years and was funded by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Other than Metformin and insulin, prior research has found that most glucose lowering therapies, while controlling glucose levels, increase cardiovascular risks. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the study “was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Saxagliptin with respect to cardiovascular outcomes in patients with diabetes mellitus who are at risk for cardiovascular events.” The specific cardiovascular events being researched were cardiovascular death (such as those caused by atherosclerosis or hypertension), myocardial infarction (heart attack) or ischemic strokes (strokes caused by blocked arteries).
The results of the study showed that 1,059 patients experienced cardiovascular deaths, myocardial infarction, strokes, hospitalization for unstable angina, coronary revascularization, or heart failure as opposed to 1,034 from the placebo group. This proves an increase in heart failure, but no increases or decreases were found relating to heart attacks.
According to a Reuter’s article dated September 2, 2013, Dr. Christopher Grainger of Duke University Medical Center, found the increase to be concerning, stating that the FDA would possibly be interested in this study. In the September 2, 2013 Reuter’s article, Dr. Anthony DeMaria, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, stated that although the increases of heart failure were low, patients with a high risk of heart failure should probably avoid all DPP-4 therapies.
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