Januvia Pancreatitis Side Effects

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted September 25, 2009


Users of the diabetes drugs Januvia or Janumet should be aware that the medications have been associated with a number of cases of pancreatitis, which may be caused by side effects of Januvia. The FDA issued an alert today to notify doctors and consumers about revisions to the warning label regarding post-marketing reports of acute pancreatitis, including severe forms, hemorrhagic pancreatitis and necrotizing pancreatitis.

>>FDA LINK: Januvia Pancreatitis Warning

Between October 2006 and February 2009, the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System has identified at least 88 cases of acute pancreatitis associated with the use of Januvia (sitagliptin) and Janumet, which combines Januvia with metformin. The actual number of Januvia pancreatitis cases is likely substantially higher, as reported events usually only account for between 1% and 10% of all occurrences.

Some concerning information provided by the FDA about the Januvia pancreatitis side effects include:

  • 66% of the cases resulted in hospitalization for pancreatitis
  • 4 cases required treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU)
  • 2 cases involved severe cases of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, which can be fatal in many cases
  • 21% of the cases had pancreatitis develop within 30 days of starting Januvia or Janumet
  • 53% of the cases resolved once the medication was stopped
  • 49% of the cases were not associated with other risk factors for developing pancreatitis
  • The most common pancreatitis symptoms from Januvia were abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting

According to the information provided to healthcare professions about the Januvia pancreatitis warning, the FDA concluded:

Based on the temporal relationship of initiating sitagliptin (Januvia) or sitagliptin/metformin (Janumet) and development of acute pancreatitis in reviewed cases, FDA believes there may be an association between these events. Because acute pancreatitis is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, and early recognition is important in reducing adverse health outcomes, FDA is recommending revisions to the prescribing information to alert healthcare professionals to this potentially serious adverse drug event.


The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are closely examining the information provided by the FDA and evaluating whether users of these diabetes drugs who have experienced a severe injury may be entitled to compensation through a Januvia lawsuit as a result of the drug maker’s failure to adequately warn about this serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.

The FDA has not indicated that any users of Januvia or Janumet should stop taking their medication, and no medication (especially a diabetes drug) should be discontinued without the supervision of a physician. Any concerns about the potential for Januvia pancreatitis side effects should be reviewed with a doctor.

Symptoms of pancreatitis could include:

  • Severe upper abdominal pain which may radiate through the back
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • High or Low Blood Pressure
  • Elevated Heart or Respiratory Rates

If you, a friend or family member have been diagnosed with pancreatitis and wish to provide information about your potential claim to be reviewed by our Januvia lawyers as part of our evaluation of this litigation, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

32 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Brian says:

    I began taking Januvia about 3.5 weeks ago in addition to Metformin and Glipizide. I began throwing up on November 15th and went to the doctor on Nov 16, who gave me a bag of fluids. Still being sick on Nov 17th, I was sent by my MD to have an abdominal CT and subsequentyly sent thru the ER and admitted to the hospital for Pancreatitis. I was taken off the Januvia, and released from the hospital on Nov 19th.

    Posted on November 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm

  • laura says:

    my father in law was taking januvia and is now on life support and had severe pancratitis we still dont know if he is even going to live and it all started a week ago

    Posted on January 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm

  • barbara says:

    my husband has been taking januvia for a whilenow and he has been c/o of stomach pain and feeling sick all the time . and now is having trouble going to the restroom , could this be a sign of this pancratitis going on with him.

    Posted on February 14, 2010 at 3:40 am

  • Thomas says:

    I was diagnosed with diabetes last year. My doctor prescribed Janumet. I took it for several months. My insurance carrier would not cover Janumet and so I started to use Metformin. About 3 months ago, I was diagnosed with nonresectible pancreatic cancer. I am now on chemotherapy. My life has changed and my survivability is now at less than 6 months

    Posted on June 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

  • Linda says:

    Have been taken Janumet for about two years. The first few weeks I vomit everyday, unitl my doctor decrease the amount of mg. Thanks for this information will have my pancreatic check out.

    Posted on June 17, 2010 at 5:57 am

  • Wanda says:

    My wife has been on januvia for about a year and a half. Her blood sugar is still running high. Averages about 145-165. She gets upset stomachs, nausea. She had pancreatitis about 6 years ago and was in ICU forn about a month. She had previously taken metformin and actos but this made her legs swell. Thats why the doctorn put her on Januvia.

    Posted on July 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm

  • Randi says:

    I was on Januvia. Had gastric bypass and did not need insulin. Was having RUQ pain. many hospitalizations. Needed an ERCP could not have one because of gastric bypass. Had to have gatrostomy tube put in old stomach to get to pancreas. Had a stent put in. and gastrostomy tube for 4 months in case needed to get there again. It was horrible!!

    Posted on July 14, 2010 at 8:24 pm

  • Mike says:

    Been on Januvia 100mg for several years. Diabetic and hospitalized in May, 2010 for low blood sugar. Has chronic COPD, Hypertension and Gastroesophageal reflux and anemia and chronic kidney disease, stage IV and chronic lumbosacral disc disease. Wondering if use of Januvia may have contributed to multiple symptoms.

    Posted on July 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm

  • Carylon says:

    April 2010 my husband was switched from Metformin to Januvia for no other reason than the doctor thought it was better. Last week my husband was watching tv and saw a lawsuit ad about Januvia, after I did some investigating I advised him to immediately stop taking the drug and contact his doctor for a visit. He had been complaining about servere back pain since the change and yesterday began getting dizzy, light headed & nausia & vomitting. Long story short, he is currently in Critical Care with Pancreatitis, kidney failure, congestive heart failure, & his blood sugar is so high (over 600) that the meters cannot read it. This needs to stop.

    Posted on July 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm

  • kimberly says:

    I was diagnoise with diabetes about three years ago. I was put on avandimet but it made my legs swell. then my doctor put me on januvia, since then I have problems with my stomach,and my lower back hurts unbearable sometimes my legs are always swollen.I have heart palpitation, trouble sleeping leg pain and tendonitis. These people are suppose to make drugs that help us not make us worst off then what we aready are.

    Posted on August 16, 2010 at 12:16 am

  • Jim says:

    I’ve recently been diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. I’ve been on Januvia for about a week 100 MG tablets. I’ve only been taking the medication since August 26th 2010. I get headaches from taking this medication and ocassionally I have been nauseated by it. Tomorrow Aug 31 (tues) I am going into my Doctor’s office and asking about something else. I can’t stand the headaches from this nor the feeling like im going to throw up every time I take it. If this is how im going to react to this medication after a week of taking it then I’d hate to see any Long term affects

    Posted on August 31, 2010 at 12:55 am

  • Michelle says:

    My father is a type 2 diabetice and was recently switched to Januvia. On Nov. 18 he was admitted to the hospital with severe back pain. When he was admitted they immediately took him and discovered that he had pancreatitis. After several days in the hospital, all sorts of exams, xrays, scans, blood work, etc… were done and the conclusion….Januvia. Januvia had caused my father to have an acute Pancreatitis. They thought he would be home after a few days. 3 weeks later he was released but sent home with a TPN (total parenteral nutrition) bag attached and clear liquid diet. He’s been home for 2 1/2 weeks now and still with an inflammed pancreas. The TPN bag was taken off a couple days ago. Still has a nurse that comes in once a week to check in on him. He’s due for another dr. appt on Jan. 12. We are hoping that the pancreas has gotten better and he’s praying to go back to work soon. Anyone taking Januvia – I advise you stop and talk to your dr. I would hate for anyone to have to go through the pain that my father went through.

    Posted on December 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

  • tamara says:

    my husband was taking januvia and he started feeling sick one night rushed him to hospital he had panceratitis and was hospitalized fro a month and a day and then every month after that and then blood transfusions and surgerys and then in oct till dec 17 in hospital. they need to recall this drug bad stuff

    Posted on February 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm

  • Cindy says:

    Was anyone diagnosed with Neuropathy shortly after being on Janumet? I was and also know someone else that also was! No real muscle pain until after being on this med for just a few weeks!
    Also I see alot of people don’t understand Januvia and Metformin do two different things.

    Posted on April 28, 2011 at 7:56 am

  • charlotte says:

    This medication was prescribed for me as recommended by a pharmacist, that was acting as a diabetic management specialist through my family doctors’ practice. Three weeks after being on the medication I awoke one morning with a blood sugar reading of 29. I was shaking almost to the point of convulsions. I had severe adominal pain. I managed to call my brother to come help me. He called the emergency squad by the time I reached the emergency room I was vomiting violently. I remained in the emergency room for eight hours and was admitted to the hospital. I remained there for 7
    days. I had a tube down my nose for 6 of the 7 days which emitted dark green bile. I was on pain medication for at least 5 of the 7 days.

    Posted on May 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

  • Martha says:

    Are there any good reports out there?

    Posted on June 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm

  • Allan 56 yrs old says:

    Been sick for 30 days, 6-30-11 ran test for gallbladder, test ok, 7-1-11 test liver, fatty liver for 5 years, stopped januvia today after reading this, 7-2-11 Will go back to actos and talk to doc. Thinking januvia might be my trouble. Have been taking it for 4 months, surger control has been great. Stopped actos because of weight gain. Wish Bush did not stop stem cell research for 8 years he was pres, why should one man have that much power? There could have been a cure for this all ready.

    Posted on July 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

  • charles says:

    i have been taking januvia for about a year i am having pain around mm ribbs that is going across from right to the bottom of left ribb have been to dr to time with all kinds of test. severe stiffness in joints. fatigued but the dr can not treat my symptons or tell me whats the cause d going this weak for nother test to see if i have caribal tunnel i no i don’t i think it sthe medication t

    Posted on July 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm

  • Viola says:

    I have been on Januvia for years,and last Friday I was in the Emergency room for severe pain in the upper abdomen.It was discovered that I have gallstones,and an ultrasound also discovered a mass next to my right kidney.I am going in for a c t scan on Monday.I
    will not take Januvia ever again until I find out what is going on in my body.I have had severe back problems as well.

    Posted on September 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm

  • Gloria says:

    Ive been having abdominal pain after taking Januvia and I’m worried but thanks to you guys I’m gonna stop taking this medicine and call my doctor.

    Posted on February 3, 2012 at 4:09 am

  • Sally says:

    I’ve been taking Januvia for 5+ yrs & Byetta prior to Januvia. Have the headaches, diarrhea, backaches, pain around my ribs, severe stiffness in joints, severe neuropathy in feet & hands & am always fatigued. Is this a warning that Januvia & previously Byetta have caused cancer somewhere within my body? Are there symptoms of Pancreatic or Liver cancer? Geez, I’d much rather have high glucose levels than cancer!.

    Posted on April 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm

  • Aaron says:

    I am 41 years of age and have been diagnosed with Diabetes type 2 since last 18 years. I have been taking Januvia for around 3 years now. I haven’t had any side affects as I have reviewed most of the comments and also googled Januvia but haven’t noticed major complications other than nausia and stomach pain. Januvia is quite expensive and my insurance covered, so my doctor recommended. But reviewing this page, I am confused about Januvia, though not clarified the age, medical history of most review writers.

    Posted on June 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

  • Bob says:

    Why hasn’t any of the doctors taken their patients off the drug?

    Posted on June 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

  • Suzanne says:

    My motherInlaw (81y) was just prescribed this medicine Junuvia by her doctor. Should took one pill and started having stomached pain later that day. It lasted all day and into the next. She called her dr to let her know and her dr told her to half the pill. Her dr never asked her if she had ever had gall bladder issues or pancreatitis (20 yrs ago gall bladder removed and acute pancreatitis). The next night she started vomiting. Shtopped taking the pills and had still had lingering pain, but not as bad. I hope it goes away and I hope it didn’t do anything else to her! She is waiting til Monday to call the dr and find out what else she should try for her type 2diabetes.

    Posted on June 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm

  • Louis says:

    I just found out about the side effects as I type. I have been on Januvia 100 Mg once a day for the past six months. I have no problem sofar. I also take 1000 Mg of Metform twice a day, 50 units of Levemir Insulin. Once a day. Blood sugar still high 156 -168 in the AM If I eat any carbs It goes up to an avg. 195-245. Also on 13Mg Warfarin Once a day. Blood Pressure Meds Avapro 300Mg, Metoprolol 200Mg,Amlodipine 10Mg,Hydrochlorothiazide 25Mg,Clonidine 3Mg and aspirin. I still battle to keep Bp down.I don’t need pancreatic or Liver cancer. Plus I have AFIB ( heart). Calling the Dr. right now.

    Posted on June 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm

  • rich says:

    Simple math my friends januvet/januvia approx 260$ and still under patent protection metformin has been out many yrs and is generic hence dr pressured to go with the most expensive drug..hmmmm doctors and drug companies in bed no way; not in america.

    Posted on July 3, 2012 at 8:40 am

  • william says:

    I have been taking Januvia 100 mg since it first came out, and take 500-1000 mg metformin. Docs don’t like to prescribe Januvia due to expense (it eats into their “budget” formula for the year and they get penalized) plus they don’t understand it and don’t want to mess with it…I like the benefits of reduced appetite as mine is out of control. I have been walking 3-4 miles 3 times a week or more if I can. That is the key. I have Diabetes II and heart rhythm problems, and weigh too much (250). Without Januvia I’d balloon to 270 easily. You have to weigh the benefits with the potential drawbacks. So far, I’ll take the risks as opposed to dying of heart disease/being fat/blindness/amputation the scourge of America, diabetes II is taking over the country.

    Posted on July 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm

  • K R says:

    I have been taking Janumet 50/1000mg. two times per day since September 2008. Should I stop taking this medication for my diabetes 2?
    I have always had stomach problems since taking this medication, but I just thought it was because I had my apendix out in May 2005 or May 2006.

    Posted on November 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm

  • K R says:

    I made a mistake it was my gallbladder

    Posted on November 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm

  • Mary says:

    I called the firm today after looking over some others I thought they were the best fit for me. I’ve had pancretis three times this year. This September I was taken off the med. and still got it again.

    Posted on January 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

  • Carolyn says:

    I was on Metformin,Actos and Gilpizide….now I am on Januvia and was doing so-so…so have been taking the Januvia in the morning and the Glipizide in the eve.No bad effects so far….but seeing my Doctor when we get back home in about 3 weeks.

    Posted on April 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm

  • Clara says:

    I started taking januvia 3 days ago and less than 24 hrs later I was having abdominal pain, went to ER and doctor said it was gastritis! I am still having abdominal pain so I will stop taking this medicine after reading this stories.

    Posted on May 9, 2018 at 8:36 am

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