When The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease: Two Diabetes Drugs Linked To Increased Risk Of Heart Attack
Why do they always find these things out after its far too late? In yet another case that looks suspiciously as if the FDA rushed through approval for an experimental, seemingly revolutionary new drug, the agency is issuing a belated warning about unintended consequences in the form of dangerous side effects.
Diabetes medications containing saxagliptin and alogliptin have now been shown to increase the risk of heart failure, especially in people who already suffer from heart disease or kidney disease.
From the FDA statement on the study:
“Healthcare professionals should consider discontinuing medications containing saxagliptin and alogliptin in patients who develop heart failure and monitor their diabetes control. If a patient’s blood sugar level is not well-controlled with their current treatment, other diabetes medicines may be required.”
In the trial focusing on saxagliptin, the study’s authors found that 3.5 percent of patients who received the drug had to be hospitalized for heart failure. Compare this to 2.8 percent who received a placebo, and you have a statistically significant change.
In the alogliptin trial, 3.9 percent of patients who received the drug were hospitalized for heart failure, as opposed to 3.3 percent who received a placebo.
Given these results, the FDA is asking health care professionals to take a second look at the prescribing any medications that contain saxagliptin or alogliptin to patients who have or are developing heart failure.
Needless to say, anyone who is taking these medications should contact their health care professional if they have heart disease or a history of heart disease.
Doctors associated with the study are quick to point out that as of now it remains unknown whether this is a “class effect,” meaning if it applies to all drugs in this category, the DPP-4 inhibitor type of drugs. It may well be only saxagliptin and alogliptin, but without further study they just won’t know. It is also unclear whether the warning should also apply to people with a relatively low risk for heart disease.
Of course, avoiding type-2 diabetes in the first place the best advice for avoiding complications from diabetes medications. Avoiding processed sugar, eating a diet heavy in natural, organic fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight and exercise program are the key ingredients to a healthier, happier you!