Diabetes Drug Class Linked to Bile Duct and Gallbladder Disease

Diabetes Drug Class Linked to Bile Duct and Gallbladder Disease
Diabetes Drug Class Linked to Bile Duct and Gallbladder Disease

Type 2 Diabetes Drugs

A popular class of drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of bile duct and gallbladder disease.

The class, GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) receptor agonists, is given via an injection and includes Byetta (exenatide), Victoza (liraglutide) and Trulicity (dulaglutide).

Health records of more than 1.5 million patients with type 2 diabetes in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada who were taking an antidiabetic medication were examined in the study, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

GLP-1s were shown to cause a 79% increased risk of developing symptoms associated with bile duct and gallbladder disease compared to those not on any diabetes drug. Put another way, about 3 more patients per 1,000 exhibited symptoms compared to those not taking the medication. The most common adverse effect seen in this population were gallstones.

Another class of diabetes drugs, DPP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase 4) inhibitors, which are given as a pill and act in a similar way as GLP-1s, did not have the increased risk of bile duct and gallbladder disease. DPP-4s on the market include Januvia (sitagliptin), Onglyza (saxagliptin) and Tradjenta (linagliptin).

However, both GLP-1s and DPP-4s were not associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis.

“It’s important that clinicians and patients alike be well informed about possible adverse effects,” Laurent Azoulay, PhD, a senior investigator at the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal and the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “As a result of the gallbladder finding, it would be prudent for doctors to warn their patients to seek treatment if they experience symptoms, such as pain in their right side.”

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Based on my research the adverse affects do NOT apply to Ozempic (semaglutide) subcutaneous or Jardiance (empagliflozin) oral. Just say’n. God bless us; one & all.

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