AstraZeneca Diabetes Rx May Pose Serious Health Risks

AstraZeneca's Onglyza (saxagliptin) may increase patients' risk of heart failure and death

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Dominique Brooks, M.D Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) Patients taking one AstraZeneca medication may want to talk to their doctors about the drug's safety.

AstraZeneca's diabetes drug Onglyza (saxagliptin) may raise patients' risk of being hospitalized for heart failure and dying from any cause, according to a preliminary FDA review of the drug. This review precedes an April 14 meeting of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials that will look at Onglyza's safety, reports Reuters.

The FDA approved Onglyza in 2009. A trial published in 2013 on the AstraZeneca drug showed that it might raise patients' risk of being hospitalized for heart failure. The new FDA report, published Friday on the agency's website, confirmed the findings of the earlier trial and added that patients may also face a raised risk of death from all causes, Reuters reports.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Onglyza is directly responsible for this raised risk. The FDA noted that some patients' deaths could have been tied to several other medical conditions, Reuters reports.

Still, FDA officials told Reuters that the findings on Onglyza are cause for concern.

Review Date: 
April 10, 2015
Last Updated:
April 14, 2015