Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus is on the rise in the United States and around the world. This condition is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, or adult-onset diabetes, though incidence of it is reported to be increasing earlier in life than previously expected. Insulin-dependent diabetes is treated with the drug insulin, while Type 2 diabetes is treated with a variety of anti-diabetic drugs, some of which have been implicated in causing dangerous side effects for the people who take them.
Of the people who suffer from diabetes, 90 percent of them suffer from type 2 diabetes. The primary pathology of type 2 diabetes is high blood glucose levels due to the body’s resistance to insulin produced by the pancreas. Unlike type 1 diabetes, insulin is still produced by the patient’s body, it just is not used efficiently by the cells. The most common, directly experienced symptoms are constant thirst and hunger, and frequent urination. Long-term complications of increased blood glucose include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss, and poor circulation that can lead to amputation of effected limbs, particularly the legs. In the past two decades, incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus has increased almost tenfold.
In order to prevent the long term consequences of unchecked type 2 diabetes mellitus, pharmaceutical interventions have been devised by drug manufacturers to control this disease. Non-invasive therapies include diet and exercise modifications, but when these are not enough, the next step is to prescribe medications such as Actos, Avandia, Byetta, Januvia, and Victoza.
While these powerful drugs do manage a patient’s overall blood glucose levels, they are also implicated in causing debilitating and dangerous diabetes drug complications, which include cardiovascular system effects and damage to the pancreas. Dangerous drug lawyers are gathering data on behalf of clients who suffer negative effects of diabetes drugs in order to get justified compensation for negative impact on their clients’ quality of life. An adverse drug complication is one that outweighs the benefit that a drug provides. In the case of diabetic drugs, while blood glucose levels may be optimal, the corollary complications cause more harm than cure.
Each of the drugs listed above has been linked to different effects according to published scientific medical studies. While drugs may be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA cannot predict every possible side effect based on the data it is provided. It is a drug manufacturer’s duty to investigate every potential consequence, and to conduct its studies in good faith, with the public interest in mind rather than profit.
Many of the drugs prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus are associated with adverse effects. Prolonged Actos use has been linked to an increased incidence of congestive heart failure and vision loss due to retinopathy, as well as an increased risk of bladder cancer, based on a five-year study of patients who used the drug as prescribed. In 2007, a study revealed that more people taking Avandia died of heart attacks or cardiovascular complications than a representative sample of people who did not take the drug. A UCLA study of Januvia linked use of the drug to increased incidence of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. This study implies that diabetes drugs stimulate pancreas cell generation in the pancreatic ducts, increasing the chances of neoplastic growth.
The adverse results of continued anti-diabetic medication use are not yet conclusive, but the evidence still being gathered statistically shows that the use of these drugs is not risk-free, and that legal claims are justified. A qualified dangerous drug lawyer who specializes in medical liability law can counsel whether a patient’s symptoms fall within the established criteria of medical negligence, medical malpractice, or class action status. By reviewing a client’s documented medical record, reviewing the published medical literature, and reviewing legal precedents and case law, professional pharmaceutical liability attorneys can act on their clients’ behalf to aggressively pursue compensation for injuries suffered from dangerous anti-diabetic drugs that are used as prescribed, according to their physician’s instructions and the drug manufacturers guidelines.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a pernicious disease that effects more people every year. The treatment of this disease should be safe and effective without causing more damage to a patient’s body than it is meant to prevent. When the treatment does cause adverse effects, there should be a legal remedy to seek restitution for the damage done. That is the role of a certified, professional dangerous drug liability lawyer.