GLP-1 Therapies Linked to Increased Pancreatitis

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that treatment with the GLP-1 based therapies sitagliptin and exenatide in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus was associated with increased odds of hospitalization for acute pancreatitis.

Study authors set out to test whether GLP-1 based therapies were associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis. The population-based case-control study evaluated cases of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus aged 18–64 years through a large U.S. administrative database from February 1, 2005 to December 31, 2008. The primary endpoint was hospitalization for acute pancreatitis.

Results indicated that current use of GLP-1–based therapies within 30 days (adjusted odds ratio, 2.24 [95% CI, 1.36-3.68]) and recent use past 30 days and less than 2 years (2.01 [1.37-3.18]) were associated with significantly increased odds of acute pancreatitis relative to the odds in nonusers.

Researchers stated that further studies are needed to clarify the risk of pancreatitis, to determine whether any particular subgroups are especially vulnerable, and to assess any effects on pancreatic cancer risk.

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