Januvia (generic: sitagliptin) is an oral diabetes medication indicated to assist in the regulation of blood sugar levels of those who are unable to do so on their own. Of significant concern, however, are the recent associations that have been established between the development of catastrophic side effects and Januvia treatment. Patients using Januvia to treat type 2 diabetes may increase their risk of developing an aggressive form of thyroid cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer after taking Januvia, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Januvia Thyroid Cancer Lawsuit
As a prominent component to Merck’s arsenal of diabetes medications, Januvia was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 16, 2006. Immediately upon its release into interstate commerce, Januvia was indicated to assist in the lowering of blood sugar levels in those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Subsequently, type 2 diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is too high because the body does not produce or use insulin normally.
Sitagliptin, the active ingredient found in Januvia, is in a class of medications known as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. As a DPP-4 inhibitor, sitagliptin work to increase the amount of certain natural substances that lower blood sugar when it is high. Furthermore, by inhibiting the production of dipeptidyl peptidase-4, sitagliptin is able to increase the secretion of insulin and suppress the release of glucagon by the pancreas. This drives blood glucose levels towards normal.
While Januvia has demonstrated a unique propensity for the regulation of blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, studies suggest it may not exhibit a favorable risk/benefit profile. Accordingly, Januvia treatment may coincide with the development of catastrophic complications. Of significant concern to the healthcare community are the recent associations that have been established between Januvia and the development of thyroid cancer. Patients receiving treatment may be at risk of developing Januvia thyroid cancer. Due to the severity and rate in which this condition occurs, Merck may become the target of a Januvia thyroid cancer lawsuit.
Januvia Thyroid Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 56,000 people will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2012. Of those diagnosed with this condition, it is estimated that 1,780 of the cases will result in the death of the patient. Unfortunately, however, Januvia treatment may contribute to the rate in which people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
The following are the three major types of thyroid cancer:
- Papillary and follicular thyroid cancers account for 80 to 90 percent of all thyroid cancers. Both types begin in the follicular cells of the thyroid. Most papillary and follicular thyroid cancers tend to grow slowly. If they are detected early, most can be treated successfully.
- Medullary thyroid cancer accounts for 5 to 10 percent of thyroid cancer cases. It arises in C cells, not follicular cells. Medullary thyroid cancer is easier to control if it is found and treated before it spreads to other parts of the body.
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer is the least common type of thyroid cancer (only 1 to 2 percent of cases). It arises in the follicular cells. The cancer cells are highly abnormal and difficult to recognize. This type of cancer is usually very hard to control because the cancer cells tend to grow and spread very quickly.
If thyroid cancer metastasizes beyond the thyroid, cancerous cells may be found in nearby lymph nodes, nerves, or blood vessels. In the unfortunate event that thyroid cancer reaches these lymph nodes, cancer cells may have already begun to spread to other lymph nodes or to other organs, such as the lungs or bones. When cancer spreads from its original place to another part of the body, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the primary tumor.
Thyroid Cancer Symptoms
Most often the first symptom of thyroid cancer is a nodule in the thyroid region of the neck. However, many adults have small nodules in their thyroids, but typically under 5% of these nodules are found to be malignant. Sometimes the first sign is an enlarged lymph node. Later symptoms that can be present are pain in the anterior region of the neck and changes in voice due to involvement of recurrent larygeal nerve. The following symptoms also coincide with thyroid cancer:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland
- Neck swelling
- Thyroid lump
Thyroid nodules, otherwise known as lumps, are of particular concern when they are found in those under the age of 20. The presentation of benign nodules at this age is less likely, and thus the potential for malignancy is far greater.
Do I Have a Januvia Thyroid Cancer Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Januvia thyroid cancer lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer after taking Januvia, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.