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Risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic carcinoma for anti-diabetic medications: findings from real-world safety data analysis and systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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Version 2 2023-12-11, 10:41
Version 1 2023-11-21, 05:42
journal contribution
posted on 2023-12-11, 10:41 authored by Asif Muhammed, Christy Thomas, Vivekanandan Kalaiselvan, Krishna Undela

The existing evidence from pre- and post-marketing studies is conflicting on the risk of pancreatic events for anti-diabetic medications.

A retrospective case/non-case study was conducted by using spontaneous reports on pancreatic events for anti-diabetic medications from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) and VigiBase. Proportional Reporting Ratio (PRR), Reporting Odds Ratio (ROR), and Information Component (IC) were calculated by a disproportionality analysis. Furthermore, PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and ClinicalTrials.gov were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on anti-diabetic drugs with pancreatic outcomes.

The FAERS data analysis found strong signals on incretin mimetics causing pancreatic events, with sitagliptin having the highest risk [PRR = 24.2, lower bound (LB) ROR = 24.4, IC025 = 4.4 for pancreatitis, and PRR = 15.4, LB ROR = 14.9, IC025 = 3.8 for pancreatic carcinoma]. Empagliflozin was the most pancreatitis-risk sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitor [PRR = 4.0, LB ROR = 3.5, IC025 = 1.8]. VigiBase reiterated these findings and identified some new signals for novel anti-diabetics. Meta-analysis revealed that the incidence of pancreatitis and pancreatic carcinoma with anti-diabetic medications was insignificant. However, compared to the placebo/active comparator, gliptins had a higher risk of acute pancreatitis (OR 1.44; 95% CI 1.03, 2.01; P = 0.03).

Evidence from the post-marketing safety data analysis identified a strong association between incretin mimetics and pancreatic events. Fewer events in RCTs may justify insignificant meta-analysis results.

We conducted this research to identify the risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic carcinoma among anti-diabetic medications from pre-and post-marketing evidence available from clinical trials data and pharmacovigilance databases (FAERS, VigiBase). A disproportionality analysis of pharmacovigilance data was done to statistically check whether the selected drug-event pairs were frequently reported from the database (known as a ‘signal’). We performed further signal refinement analysis using OpenVigil 2.1 on the generated signals to check whether the signal sustains even after removing co-prescribed medications possessing the same risk. Also, conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials for evidence generation regarding the pancreatic safety of the medications. The findings from real-world data indicated that, among all anti-diabetics, incretin mimetics and sulfonylurea compounds produced signals for both pancreatitis and pancreatic carcinoma. Notable pancreatitis risk was also identified for newer anti-diabetics like SGLT-2 inhibitors. The findings from the meta-analysis of clinical trials indicated a 44% risk of DPP-4 inhibitors in causing acute pancreatitis and a 60% risk of GLP-1 agonists in elevating the lipase level, compared to placebo/active comparator. Thus, the study raises concerns over the risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic carcinoma among the users of anti-diabetic medications, especially incretin mimetics.

Funding

This paper was not funded.

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