New Type II diabetes drugs linked to fatal gangrene

As I often say, newer medicine isn’t always better. Especially when it comes to prescription drugs.

And that’s certainly the case with the new Type II diabetes drugs known as SGLT2 inhibitors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this class of drugs back in 2013. But since hitting the market, they’ve been linked to all sorts of serious side effects. And a recent warning from the FDA is the most disturbing yet…

It involves an increased risk of developing necrotizing fasciitis (a flesh-eating disease) of the perineum (the tissues around the genitals and anus). It’s also referred to as Fournier’s gangrene, and it basically causes gangrene of the healthy tissues in your pelvis.

The worst part is that there’s no reason for anyone with Type II diabetes to ever take one of these drugs, as there’s a perfectly safe and effective generic drug that’s been on the market in the U.S. for more than a quarter-century. Better yet, it’s a drug derived from an ancient natural remedy.

In a moment, I’ll tell you all about this safe, effective drug—as well as some natural approaches for controlling blood sugar. But first, let’s take a closer look at the new FDA warning…

It takes seven years to really learn about new drugs

As you know, I recommend avoiding most prescription drugs on the market. And you should be especially wary of trying any new drug that hasn’t been on the market for at least seven years.

At the seven-year mark, we typically have a more complete picture of a drug’s side effects…because at that point, millions of people on the open market have tried it out. (Not just a few thousand in a clinical trial.)

And that’s exactly what we’re seeing with the new class of Type II diabetes drugs…

The FDA approved SGLT2 inhibitors—which includes canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, empagliflozin, and ertugliflozin—six years ago in 2013. And doctors have written about 1.7 million prescriptions for them annually ever since.

They’re supposed to work by forcing the kidneys to remove sugar from the body through the urine…

But in the six years since the FDA approved these drugs, the agency has issued warning after warning for serious side effects—ranging from increased risk of urinary tract infections to bone fractures.

Of course, the latest warning of Fournier gangrene is among the most serious…

Type II diabetes drugs kill healthy tissue

Fournier’s gangrene is a potentially fatal infection that kills the tissues around the genitalia in the pelvis.

The FDA issued an initial warning about this risk in August 2018, based on 12 cases that were reported between 2013 and 2018.

But—predictably—that figure is rising.

In fact, the FDA now says there have been 55 cases of Fournier gangrene reported between 2013 and 2019.

Patients who developed this side effect were 56 years of age, on average. Thirty-nine of them were men and 16 were women.

Most patients developed the condition about nine months after starting treatment with an SGLT2 inhibitor. But some patients developed it after just five days on the medication!

Here are a few of the associated complications:

  • All of the patients experienced local redness, pain, swelling, infection in the perineum (including vulva/vagina, scrotum, or buttocks)
  • All of the patients required hospitalization for surgical removal of the dead, necrotic pelvic tissues
  • At least 25 patients required more than one surgery, including one patient who made 17 different trips to the operating room
  • Eight patients ended up requiring colostomies
  • Four patients required skin grafting
  • Three patients died
  • Two patients required leg amputations

And get this: The FDA has concluded that these terrible side effects are caused by the SGLT2 inhibitors, not as a complication of diabetes. And that’s truly a disgrace.

Why replace older, safe drugs with newer, dangerous ones?

There’s one reason—and one reason alone—why big pharma continues to create and dole out dangerous, expensive, new drugs…

It’s not to improve patient care. And it’s not because the old drugs don’t work.

It’s simply because they need to find new sources of revenue. In fact, the moment a safe, time-tested drug goes “off-patent” and becomes generic, it stops making money for the manufacturers.

Which is exactly what happened with regards to Type II diabetes drugs.

A new (inevitably dangerous) drug wasn’t needed. Because we already had a perfectly safe and effective generic drug for controlling blood sugar in people with Type II diabetes. In fact, it’s one of the only drug treatments I recommend. And it originally derives from a plant…

Safe Type II diabetes drug derives from French lilac

Back in 1994, the FDA approved Glucophage® for the treatment of Type II diabetes. And it’s now available as an inexpensive generic drug known as metformin. But the origins of this drug date back centuries…

In fact, metformin derives from the ancient European and Middle Eastern folk remedy called French lilac. In the U.S., it’s called goat’s rue and classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a “noxious weed.”

Clearly, it’s not easy to replace a safe, effective drug like metformin, which has worked for millions of patients with Type II diabetes over a span of 25 years.

Indeed, to this day, it’s is the only drug that effectively treats high blood sugar while also shown to prevent the eye, kidney, heart, and nerve problems associated with Type II diabetes. It also helps with weight management and reduces the risks of pancreatic cancer, among other cancers. It even decreases death rates—the ultimate goal of any long-term medical treatment.

And now, we have even more good news about metformin…

Metformin increases survival in liver cancer patients

A new study links metformin to improvements in survival time in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer.

HCC is highly untreatable and one of the most lethal of all cancers. It occurs most often in people with chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection. (Baruch Blumberg, my mentor at the University of Pennsylvania, won the Nobel prize in 1976 for discovering the virus that causes hepatitis B and cancer.)

In the new study, more than 5,000 people were treated for liver cancer between 2000 and 2016.  Among these patients, 38 percent were also diagnosed with Type II diabetes.

It turns out, patients treated with metformin:

  • Had significantly better liver function
  • Underwent significantly more surgeries to remove the cancerous tumors (surgery allows patients to increase survival time)
  • Increased survival time by 32 percent (22 months compared to 15 months for those who didn’t take it)

Interestingly, those treated with metformin and sorafenib, a drug intended to treat liver cancer, didn’t survive as long as those treated with metformin alone.

In the end, it’s a mystery to me why any doctor would prescribe any Type II diabetes drug other than the inexpensive, safe, generic metformin.

Plus, there are now many natural blood sugar treatments I’d try first, even before metformin.

You can learn all about these effective, safe, and natural remedies to prevent—and even reverse—Type II diabetes in my online learning tool, Dr. Micozzi’s Integrative Protocol for Defeating Diabetes. Click here to learn more or enroll today.

P.S. Tune back in tomorrow for my report on natural herbal extracts that can help reduce blood sugar.

Sources:

“Fournier Gangrene Associated With Sodium–Glucose Cotransporter-2 Inhibitors: A Review of Spontaneous Postmarketing Cases.” Annals of Internal Medicine 2019. https://doi.10.7326/M19-0085

“Treatment with metformin is associated with a prolonged survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.” Liver International 2019: 39(4): 714-726.


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