A consumer watchdog group known as the “Public Citizen” is focusing its attention on the new diabetes drug Onglyza, questioning the drug’s safety in the organization’s monthly newsletter, “Worst Best Pills.”

The newsletter is urging consumers to wait for seven years (till 2016) before using Onglyza (saxagliptin) so that more information about the drug’s potential side effects can be properly gathered through intensive research. The drug’s current side effects are listed as heart risks, liver toxicity and severe skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Onglyza was released in 2009, but the adverse side effects brought the FDA’s attention upon the makers of the drug, Bristol-Myers Squibb — so much so that the FDA is encouraging the manufacturers to conduct postmarketing studies and keep an eye on the effects. While Onglyza has already been approved to treat the symptoms of type-2 diabetes, it is a part of a new class of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors.

The first drug of this class was Januvia, and is already on the consumer group’s “Do Not Use” list because of its link to Stevens-Johnson syndrome, anaphylaxis and angioedema. Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare skin reaction that causes sufferers to experience the painful loss of large patches of skin. The condition is a lot like having a 3rd degree burn and can prove to be life threatening or fatal. It can also lead to permanent damage such as long scars and blindness.

While Stevens-Johnson syndrome starts off with a red or purplish rash that spreads, patients taking Januvia are warned not to ignore the rash and seek immediate help from their doctor, as doctors are prone to ignoring this symptom. If you or someone you love is taking Januvia or Onglyza and have developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome, you may also be eligible for compensation. Contact Greg Jones today for a free consultation.