When we are sick or injured we go to the doctor in hopes of getting better. Unfortunately sometimes the treatment winds up being worse than the original problem. Particularly dangerous treatments can result in personal injury or even wrongful death. It appears this may be the case with a drug called Victoza. This means that if you are taking or have taken Victoza and the medicine caused serious side effects, you should contact us as soon as possible.
What is Victoza?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Victoza is an injectable prescription drug that might improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is manufactured by Novo Nordisk and was approved back in 2010. When the FDA approved the drug, it claimed that “the benefits of this drug to patients with [type 2 diabetes] outweigh potential risks associated with its use.” As it turns out, this decision may have been wrong.
What are the Problems with Victoza?
The side effects of Victoza can be quite severe. One possible side effect is a developing a thyroid tumor which could be cancerous. When the drug company tested the drug on lab mice those mice developed thyroid tumors and some of them were cancerous. This type of cancer can be fatal if not detected and treated early. If it does not result in death, it may require the surgical removal of your thyroid and a lifetime of taking appropriate medications thereafter.
Another potentially deadly side effect of Victoza is pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. Of course, the individuals taking this drug are already suffering from diabetes, so they already have issues with their pancreatic function. Severe pancreatitis can result in injury to other vital organs including the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Victoza May Not Even Improve Health Risks Associated with Diabetes
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last month that Victoza, along with other diabetes drugs, may not be as beneficial to patients as they are made out to be. According to the report, from 2004 to 2013, “none of the 30 new diabetes drugs that came on the market were proven to improve key outcomes, such as reducing heart attacks or strokes, blindness or other complications of [type 2 diabetes].” This would include Victoza. These new diabetes drugs that focus on lowering blood sugar are considered the primary suspect in 3,300 deaths since 2004, and they are suspected of being responsible for at least 20,000 hospitalizations. The FDA finally started requiring drug companies to show that their diabetes drugs do not increase the risk of cardiovascular problems by more than 1.3 times. Those studies are still ongoing, but the one that has been completed showed that a drug called Onglyza increases the risk of hospitalization for heart failure by 27%.
Part of the problem is that the FDA is approving drugs based on surrogate measures. Instead of requiring drug manufacturers to do the more expensive and lengthy tests required to determine whether drugs like Victoza actually improve outcomes in diabetes cases, they are allowing them to be approved just based on the fact that they reduce blood sugar. Another example is how the agency approves drugs to treat cancer not because they are actually shown to improve cancer survival rates, but rather just because they are shown to decrease tumor size.
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