In March, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Drug Safety Communication, the contents of which stated that the agency was currently “investigating reports of possible increased risk of pancreatitis and pre-cancerous findings of the pancreas from incretin mimetic drugs for Type 2 diabetes.” While the FDA has not yet reached a conclusion as to whether or not the institution of regulatory action for these medications is necessary, a new Italian study regarding the matter seems to provide further support of the FDA’s earlier statements.
Informa Healthcare published an online article on November 13, 2013 which supports the previously speculated connection between incretin mimetic medications and the development of pancreatitis among users. Used to treat Type 2 diabetes, incretin mimetics mimic hormones in the body that increase the release of insulin. Incretin mimetics include:
To examine the connection between these drugs and pancreatitis, Informa Healthcare analyzed the adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports from the Italian Spontaneous ADR Reporting Database. After reviewing more than 1,100 reports related to incretin mimetics, 90 of which included cases of pancreatitis or elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes, Informa Healthcare concluded that a clear association between the drugs and pancreatic issues exists. The Italian study advised that patients who are currently taking any of the incretin mimetic medications be monitored while doing so.