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Januvia and Pancreatic Cancer

The type 2 diabetes drug, Januvia (sitagliptin) has been on the market since 2006. Januvia belongs to the incretin mimetic class of diabetes medications aimed at controlling blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Drugs in this class, including Januvia, Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin), Byetta (exenatide), and Victoza (liraglutide), have been linked to serious and fatal side-effects including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.


  • Januvia (sitagliptin phosphate) is a type-2 diabetes medication manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Januvia was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006.
  • Januvia is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor in the incretin mimetic class of drugs. Drugs in this class are currently under FDA review for their link to pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
  • Back Pain
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fever and Chills
  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Necrotizing Pancreatitis
  • Hemorrhagic Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic Duct Metaplasia (under investigation)
  • Death
  • 2006– Januvia was approved by the FDA in 2006 to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  • 2006-2009– Between 2006 and 2009, the FDA received 88 post-marketing cases of acute pancreatitis, including two cases of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis in patients taking Januvia.
  • 2009– The FDA revised prescribing information for Januvia and Janumet in 2009 to include information on reported cases of acute pancreatitis in patients using the drugs.
  • 2013– The FDA stated it was reviewing new, unpublished research regarding an increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic duct metaplasia (pre-cancerous cellular changes) in patients taking incretin mimetic drugs (including Januvia).


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