Type of Drug

  • Incretin mimetics

Date Approved

  • 10/17/2006


  • Merck & Co., Inc.:  Januvia and Janumet
  • Amylin and Eli Lilly and Co.:  Byetta
  • Novo Nordisk:  Victoza


  • On the market

Approved Uses

  • Treatment of type 2 diabetes

Serious Side Effects

  • Pancreatitis
  • Renal impairment
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

Linked to Pancreatitis, Pancreatic Cancer, and Thyroid Cancer

Our firm is investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of patients who suffered from pancreatitis, renal impairment, pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer related to the use of  Byetta (exenatide), Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin), Januvia (sitagliptin) and Victoza (liraglutide).

These medications are prescription medicines used to treat Type 2 diabetes, which occurs when there is not enough insulin to break down sugar in the body.

These drugs are all glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, meaning that they try to help increase the activity of the hormone GLP-1. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a gut hormone that helps secrete insulin. Research has linked glucagon-like peptide -1-based therapies such as this to an increased risk of pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer.

In 2011, Gastroenterology journal published a study definitively linking pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer to GLP-1 based therapies. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found a higher incidence of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer associated with Byetta and Januvia compared with other therapies. Furthermore, researchers also found a significantly higher rate of thyroid cancer linked to the use of Byetta. More than 2,500 patients have filed adverse event reports with the FDA alleging that they developed pancreatic side effects after using Victoza.

For a free evaluation of your case, please contact us by filling our online form, or by calling our toll-free number: 1-888-341-1405.

Januvia, Janumet, Byetta, Victoza and Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, the organ responsible for secreting digestive enzymes. It is also involved in regulating blood sugar because it releases the hormones insulin and glucagon. Pancreatitis occurs when the digestive enzymes become active while still inside the pancreas (instead of the small intestine). This condition, which can occur acutely or develop as chronic condition, can cause damage to the pancreas. Signs of acute pancreatitis include:

  • Upper abdominal pain that may radiate to the back
  • Swollen and tender abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate

According to the 2011 Gastroenterology study, pancreatitis was six times more common among patients who took Byetta compared to those who took an alternative type 2 diabetes therapy.

How we can help

Thornton Law Firm LLP has been a leader in investigating and pursuing compensation for consumers who have been injured by defective drugs and medical devices for more than 30 years. We have a team of attorneys dedicated to this complex area of law. We understand your rights, what is at stake, and how to handle drug claims from beginning to end. For a free evaluation of your case, please contact us by filling our online form, or by calling our toll-free number: 1-888-341-1405.