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Newer not always better: Sitagliptin, exenatide associated with pancreatitis, cancer risk


The risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer is higher in patients with type 2 diabetes who are using sitagliptin (Januvia—Merck) or exenatide (Byetta—Amylin Pharmaceuticals), a study shows. Exenatide was also associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer.


Elashoff M et al. Pancreatitis, pancreatic, and thyroid cancer with glucagon-like peptide-1–based therapies. Gastroenterology. 2011;141:150–6.

Spranger J et al. GLP-1–based therapies: the dilemma of uncertainty [editorial]. Gastroenterology. 2011;141:20–3.

Goldstein MR, Mascitelli L. An update on the comparative effectiveness and safety of medications for type 2 diabetes [letter]. Ann Intern Med. 2011;155:562–3.

Tanzi M. Cancer risk with antidiabetic drugs. Pharm Today. 2011(Sept);17(9):55–6.