FDA Taiwan: New Class of Type 2 Diabetes Drugs May Cause Acute Pancreatitis

FDA Taiwan: New Class of Type 2 Diabetes Drugs May Cause Acute Pancreatitis
Blood sugar testing. (shutterstock)

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan (FDA) released a report about a new class of hypoglycemic drugs, Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, suspected of causing acute pancreatitis.

Wang Chih-yuan, researcher and chairman of the Taiwanese Association of Diabetes Educators, said that patients who use GLP-1 receptor agonists might also suffer from gastrointestinal discomforts, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other side effects. For patients with familial medullary thyroid cancer and multiple endocrine tumor syndrome, Wang strongly advised stopping using anti-diabetic drugs such as GLP-1 receptor agonists.

Wang also warns that patients who experience pancreatitis and other symptoms while taking the specific medication should seek medical examination as soon as possible.

Taiwan FDA Warning

The Taiwan FDA report points out that the number of diabetic patients in recent years has climbed drastically. To date, there are 2.2 million diabetic patients. Diabetes drug pharmaceuticals are constantly launching new findings.

The latest launch of the new class of hypoglycemic drugs is two new blood sugar-lowering drugs, sodium-glucose-glucose collaborative transport protein-2 inhibitors (SGLT2 inhibitors) and receptor agonists.

Besides minimizing the side effects of hypoglycemia, the drugs also aid cardiovascular protection and weight loss,

Hence some weight loss patients also use this latest blood sugar-lowering drug to lose weight.

However, the FDA reminded the public that the new generation of hypoglycemic drugs has recently received suspected cases of acute pancreatitis caused by drugs.

It also mentioned that patients should consult a professional before taking medicine and follow the doctor's instructions for medication intake.

The Drug Group of the Food and Drug Administration said that there are more type 2 diabetes patients in Taiwan, and the incidence rate of men is higher than that of women. The trend shows the age of the first diabetic incidence has become younger.

A Change of Lifestyle

Wang suggested improving three areas of living habits: sleep, exercise, and diet. Wang said patients should go to bed at 9 or 10 p.m. with 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily.

According to past research, taking a small nap in the afternoon for 10 to 30 minutes is a positive routine. Exercising 20 to 30 minutes daily can prevent physical degeneration and chronic diseases.

On the other hand, a patient's eating habits are also an essential factor in controlling blood sugar. Wang said that human nutrition control is now different from the past.

Modern nutritional control no longer uses dated standards to count the number of rice bowls or vegetables to eat. Instead, it focuses on what type of food you enjoy eating and how often you consume it.

"Patients can now reach a healthy lifestyle goal through balancing the amount of food intake to control blood sugar."

Further Warning

The FDA warned the public that all drugs have risks and that patients should only obtain medication through legal channels. Medicines should not be purchased privately or used without a medical prescription.

FDA also mentioned that SGLT 2 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists are drugs by prescription only. Patients should consult medical professionals about the risks and benefits of drug use.

The final advice on the best way to ensure drug use safety from the FDA: patients should proactively inform their doctor about the current medication prescription, medical history, and drug allergy and consume medicine on time per the doctor's instructions.