3 Fatal Side Effects of the Newest FDA-approved Diabetes Pill

In February 2017, the US FDA approved Qtern (dapagliflozin and saxagliptin) to treat inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes. 

Qtern is a new addition to the list of medications that treat type 2 diabetes. This combination pill contains two medications dapagliflozin and saxagliptin. These two drugs use different mechanisms to lower blood glucose levels.

Dapagliflozin works to reduce blood glucose levels by promoting glucose excretion via urine. Saxagliptin increases the concentration of the hormones that stimulate the release of insulin into the bloodstream. Most notably, the release of insulin is dependent on the amount of glucose present in the blood. Moreover, saxagliptin reduces glucose production in the liver.

What You Should Know About the Serious Side Effects of the Newest Diabetes Pill Qtern

As a matter of fact, every medication has its own share of side effects. Nonetheless, some of the side effects are so harmful that you may need to stop taking the medication.

Patients taking this diabetes pill and various drug trials have reported some serious side effects. If you have any of the following side effects while taking Qtern, stop taking the medication right away and consult your doctor.

#1. Pancreatitis

There are reports of pancreatitis caused by saxagliptin in some patients taking Qtern. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It can turn fatal if you do not seek an immediate medical attention. If you have persistent stomach pain along with fever, nausea, and vomiting, discontinue Qtern.

#2. Heart failure

Heart failure occurs when your heart is too weak to pump enough blood to meet oxygen requirements of the body. A trial found that Qtern caused heart failure in some patients and they had to be admitted to the hospital. Talk to your doctor immediately if you have a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath or wheezing. Moreover, be extra careful if you have a history of heart failure or kidney disease.

#3. Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis is a potentially life-threatening diabetes complication caused by high blood levels of acidic molecules called ketones. It occurs when the insulin level declines rapidly. There are reports of fatal cases of ketoacidosis in patients taking Qtern. Warning signs include fruity odor on the breath, excessive thirst, breathing problems and frequent passage of urine.


[expand title=”References“]

  1. CenterWatch. URL Link. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  2. QTERN. URL Link. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  3. CenterWatch. URL Link. Retrieved October 28, 2017.


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