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Onglyza Lawsuits

One of a groundbreaking new class of drugs designed to treat Type 2 diabetes, Onglyza (saxagliptin) is what is known in the pharmaceutical world as a DPP-4 Inhibitor. Having reached the U.S. market in 2009, Onglyza is meant to regulate blood sugar in diabetics who have not had problems with diabetic ketoacidosis. According to AstraZeneca, when taken in concert with a sound diet and exercise plan, the drug can successfully lower blood glucose to safe levels in what is an ever-increasing patient population diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Onglyza linked to pancreatic cancer, heart failure

Onglyza has enjoyed tremendous popularity since its initial release, with analysts projecting that sales in 2018 could top $2.47 billion. Part of the widespread appeal of the drug is the fact that it is not linked to significant weight gain, as other categories of diabetes medications have often been. Though touted by drug makers as a real breakthrough in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, serious concerns have emerged in recent years about the drug’s safety and its alleged propensity to increase patient risk of pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, thyroid cancer and heart failure. In addition, multiple less serious, though still alarming side effects have been reported, including:

  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Skin rashes
  • Jaundice
  • Burning of the eyes
  • Susceptibility to bruising
  • Nausea and vomiting

FDA warns about Onglyza risks

Of specific concern is an April 2015 report from a panel assembled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which declared that Onglyza’s packaging needed to bear a distinct warning about the increased danger of heart failure posed by the drug. A majority of panel members agreed that the labeling should reflect newly-revealed information about heart failure risks, and one member of the panel actually voted to have the drug withdrawn completely from the U.S. market. These developments were precipitated by findings that patients who took diabetes medications of this particular type experienced a 27 percent boost in their risk of hospitalization due to heart failure.

Further, the FDA panel found that Onglyza was linked to “significant or near-significant” increases in patients’ risk of death from all types of causes, not merely cardiovascular ones.

Onglyza lawsuits

Injured patients who are considering Onglyza lawsuits may argue that AztraZeneca negligently placed defectively designed and manufactured products onto the market without sufficiently testing them for safety. Plaintiffs may additionally allege that the medications were misrepresented to consumers and that the warning labels affixed to the drug’s packaging, particularly with regard to heart failure, pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis were wholly insufficient to convey the risks patients were truly facing while taking it.

Product liability lawsuits involving Onglyza side effects will seek to hold AztraZeneca liable for failing to fully inform the public about the dangers presented by the new generation of diabetes drugs, without which omission they might have chosen to utilize one of the many other options already on the market for the treatment of their condition.

Are Onglyza lawsuit plaintiffs eligible for monetary compensation?

Patients who have suffered heart failure or other side effects during or after Onglyza use may be able to secure substantial financial compensation by initiating litigation against AstraZeneca.

Onglyza lawsuit plaintiffs may seek monetary payment for:

  • Past, present and future medical costs
  • Lost earnings
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Costs of rehabilitation and therapy
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of financial support

Many drug injury lawsuit plaintiffs are also motivated by the prospect of holding reckless drug manufacturers accountable for jeopardizing the safety of the public at large and helping deter similarly negligent corporate conduct in the future.

Onglyza litigation

Type 2 diabetes has become a massive dilemma in the United States and shows no real sign of abating. As a result, the introduction of a new breed of diabetes drugs that included Onglyza was understandably met with much fanfare. But the rapid rise in popularity of this and similar drugs within its class has been stemmed by concerns over serious, life-threatening side effects and allegations of manufacturer negligence.

Onglyza attorneys are currently reviewing potential cases on behalf of patients who experienced complications such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, or heart failure after using the drug to treat diabetes.

It is difficult to predict the ultimate trajectory of Onglyza litigation or exactly how many victims will file suit. However, if cases continue to build at a consistent pace, there may eventually be a need for their consolidation, whether in a federal multidistrict litigation or under state court mass tort procedures. Such centralization of cases would facilitate consistent pretrial rulings, judicial economy and streamlining of discovery processes.

Helping the parties get an early picture of how juries are likely to react to common fact patterns, testimony and legal theories, would serve to make large scale settlement of Onglyza lawsuits more likely.


  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA to review heart failure risk with diabetes drug saxagliptin (marketed as Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR), http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm385287.htm

  2. WebMD, Diabetes Drug Onglyza Increases Risk of Death: FDA, http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20150410/diabetes-drug-onglyza-death-risk

  3. Reuters, FDA panel backs safety updates for AstraZeneca, Takeda drugs, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/14/us-astrazeneca-onglyza-fda-idUSKBN0N51U920150414

  4. AstraZeneca, Onglyza (saxagliptin), https://www.onglyza.com/