Onglyza is a Type 2 diabetes manufactured and sold in the United States by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb. The drug is used to keep blood sugar levels under control, so Type 2 diabetes causes fewer symptoms and less damage over time. However, there is evidence Onglyza is linked to an increased risk for pancreatitis and heart failure, as well as ongoing joint pain.
Side Effects of Onglyza
Onglyza, like many medications, comes with a list of side effects, many of which are not considered serious.
The most common side effects include:
- Skin reaction
- Fluid retention (peripheral edema)
- An allergic reaction that can trigger swelling of face, throat, difficulty breathing, and skin rashes
There are also several more serious side effects associated with the drug, including joint pain that can be severe to disabling for some patients, pancreatitis, and heart failure.
The risk for pancreatitis for Onglyza users that in 2011 the risk was added to the drug’s warning label. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas due to a buildup of enzymes. Most people recover from pancreatic, though they face an increased risk in the future for flare-ups, the condition can be life-threatening in some cases.
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:
- Severe and steady pain in the upper-middle of the abdomen that radiates into the back
- Low-grade fever
- Nausea or vomiting
- Reduced blood pressure
- Rapid pulse
- Clammy skin
- Abdominal hardness or development of a mass
- Abdominal bloating and tenderness
- Bruising in the flanks and midsection
In addition to pancreatitis, Onglyza users also face an increased risk for heart failure. Heart failure occurs when a patient’s heart is unable to pump enough blood into the body. As a result, other organ functions are affected and fluid backs up into the lungs, as well as the ankles and legs.
Symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath
As heart failure worsens, symptoms progress and quality of life is reduced.
Onglyza users who have been adversely affected have filed lawsuits against the makers of the drug. They claim the AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb failed to properly test the drug before it hit the market, nor did they warn doctors and patients about the potential for serious side effects.
There is currently no class action or multidistrict litigation related to Onglyza, but there are several pending lawsuits in California, Kentucky Texas, and Illinois. The cases in California could be consolidated in the near future.
Lawsuits include the following claims:
- Lack of adequate studies to determine if Onglyza increased the risk for cardiovascular-related adverse events
- Failure to warn of heart failure, congestive heart failure, cardiac failure, and death despite clinical trial findings and FDA Advisory Committee recommendations
- Over-promotion of the drug and downplay of its risks in print and digital marketing, advertising, and promotional materials directly presented to consumers
- Promotion of Onglyza to doctors and other health providers as safer than other Type 2 diabetes drugs
- Failure to adequately test Onglyza before putting it on the market
- Sale of Onglyza despite awareness of its serious risks
- Manufacture of a defective and unreasonably dangerous drug
- Negligent manufacturing, designing, labeling, packaging, distributing, marketing, advertising and selling of Onglyza
Patients or family members of those who have been harmed or who suffered fatal consequences after using Onglyza to treat Type 2 diabetes might be eligible for compensation for their injuries or loss through an Onglyza lawsuit.
Every case is different and needs to be evaluated separately by a legal expert.