'Doctors must report pancreatic disease in diabetics'

Health Ministry announcement follows a warning by the US Food and Drug Administration and its European counterpart.

April 24, 2013 05:40
Doctors (illustrative)

Doctors perform surgery (generic) R 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Swoan Parker)

The Health Ministry’s pharmaceutical division has asked doctors to be vigilant for cases of pancreatic infections and pancreatic cancer in diabetics taking incretins, drugs commercialized as Januet, Januvia, Byetta, Victoza, Galvus, Eucreas and Onglyza, among others.

Incretins are gastrointestinal hormones that increase the amount of insulin released from the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas.

The announcement on Monday followed a warning by the US Food and Drug Administration and its European counterpart, EMA, which are following up a “possible connection” between taking the drugs and developing pancreatic infections or cancer in the organ.

The ministry and the National Diabetes Council have been asked to raise physicians’ awareness of possible side effects from this drug family. The ministry said the number of reports of side effects here seem to be lower than expected.

Doctors who noted such side effects were asked to report them via an electronic report to the ministry at http://forms.gov.il/globaldata/getsequence/getsequence.aspx?formType=Adv ersEffectMedic@moh.health.gov.il

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