Type 2 diabetes medicines that contain saxagliptin and alogliptin may increase the risk of heart failure, especially in patients who already have heart or kidney disease, according to results from an Food and Drug Administration safety review.

The development, which was announced by MedWatch on April 5, 2016, means that the FDA will add new warnings to the drug labels about this safety issue. “Health care professionals should consider discontinuing medications containing saxagliptin and alogliptin in patients who develop heart failure and monitor their diabetes control,” the communication states. “If a patient’s blood sugar level is not well-controlled with their current treatment, other diabetes medicines may be required.”

The medications of concern include Onglyza (saxagliptin); Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin and metformin extended release); Nesina (alogliptin); Kazano (alogliptin and metformin), and Oseni (alogliptin and pioglitazone). The move comes after two clinical trials showed that more patients who received saxagliptin- or alogliptin-containing medicines were hospitalized for heart failure, compared with patients who received placebo (for specifics, see the data summary section in the FDA Drug Safety Communication).

The communication noted that patients taking these medicines should contact their health care clinician if they develop signs and symptoms of heart failure such as: unusual shortness of breath during daily activities; trouble breathing when lying down; tiredness, weakness, or fatigue; and weight gain with swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, or stomach.

Clinicians and patients can report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=reporting.home .

dbrunk@frontlinemedcom.com

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