Byetta (exenatide) is a popular injection medication used to help people with Type-2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, new research has linked Byetta to increased risks of pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, and kidney failure. If you have suffered from any of these severe Byetta side effects, you may qualify to file a lawsuit or join a class action.
What You Can Do & How a Byetta Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Byetta induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Byetta, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Byetta Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
UPDATE: FDA Safety Alert for Pancreatic Cancer
March 15, 2013 – FDA publishes Safety Alert regarding potential risk of pancreatic cancer. Click here to read more.
February 26, 2013 – Study published in JAMA Internal Medicine links Byetta and other GLP-1 diabetes drugs to a doubled risk of pancreatitis. Click here to read more.
The Schmidt Firm, LLP Files First Byetta Lawsuit
August 8, 2008 – Michael E. Schmidt of The Schmidt Firm, LLP has filed the first Byetta lawsuit in the United States on behalf of a man from Virginia who suffered pancreatitis after using Byetta. The complaint was filed in San Diego Superior Court, where drug-maker Amylin Pharmaceuticals is headquartered. It alleges that the company did not adequately warn physicians or the public about the risk of using Byetta. If you were injured by Byetta, contact our Byetta lawyers today.
Byetta (exenatide) is a Type-2 diabetes drug manufactured by Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. in collaboration with Eli Lilly & Co. It comes in a pre-filled pen that diabetics use to inject themselves twice a day. It was approved by the FDA in 2005 to be used with diet and exercise to help control blood-sugar levels.
Byetta contains a synthetic compound that was developed from a hormone called extendin-4, which is found in the poisonous saliva of the Gila monster, a large species of lizard that is native to the American Southwest and some parts of Mexico. This hormone is very similar to a hormone in the human digestive tract known as GLP-1, which triggers the production of insulin. However, extendin-4 lasts longer than GLP-1, which helps a diabetic control their blood sugar levels. Byetta also decreases cravings for food, which can help with weight loss.
Byetta and Cancer
Byetta was linked to a 2.9-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer and a 4.7-fold increased risk of thyroid cancer in a Byetta study published in 2011 in the journal Gastroenterology. The study was conducted by clinical researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The researchers used data collected from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System between 2004 – 2009. During this time period, 375 cases of Byetta cancer were reported, including about 110 cases of thyroid cancer or pancreatic cancer. These reports are voluntarily submitted by physicians or patients. The researchers compared the incidence of pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer among Byetta patients and patients taking other diabetes drugs.
Soon after this study was published, letters written by two drug companies pressured Gastroenterology into withdrawing the study. The drug companies were concerned that the researchers’ conclusions could not be justified, and they might spark an unnecessary health scare.
Byetta Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most serious side effects that any medication can have, because it is often fatal. If you were not aware of the risk of pancreatic cancer before you took Byetta, it is not your fault. You may have a Byetta pancreatic cancer lawsuit.
One reason why pancreatic cancer is so difficult to treat is because it is often symptomless in its early stages. By the time a patient goes to the doctor and is diagnosed, only 20% of patients can have the cancer surgically removed. Less than 5% of people with pancreatic cancer survive more than five years.
Byetta Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer occurs when cells begin dividing out of control in the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower-front part of the neck. Most cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed early, and therefore the cure rates are very good. Treatment typically involves removing the entire thyroid gland. However, in some cases, thyroid cancer can return and spread to other areas of the body.
If you or someone you know has suffered from Byetta thyroid cancer, you have undoubtedly faced emotional anguish, expensive medical treatment, pain, and suffering. You may have a permanent disability that decreases your quality of life, or other injuries. If you file a Byetta thyroid cancer lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Byetta and Pancreatitis
The first FDA warning for Byetta was published in October 2007, after the FDA received 30 reports of acute pancreatitis in Byetta patients. Less than one year later, the FDA updated the warning to report 6 more cases of hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis — the most severe forms of the disease. The majority of these patients required hospitalization, and at least 6 deaths were linked to Byetta pancreatitis.
Byetta and Kidney Failure
The FDA published its third warning for Byetta to warn about the risk of kidney failure. In the 2009 Safety Communication, the FDA reported that they had received 78 cases of “altered kidney function” between April 2005 and October 2008. Of these cases, 62 people suffered sudden kidney failure, and 16 people suffered kidney damage (renal insufficiency). Nearly all of the patients (91%) required hospitalization. Unfortunately, 4 deaths were linked to Byetta kidney failure, and only 39 (50%) of the patients had improved kidney function after they stopped using Byetta.
Byetta and the FDA
In October 2009, the FDA responded to numerous reports of severe Byetta side effects by issuing a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). They decided to require Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to conduct six post-marketing safety studies to help better understand the link between Byetta and thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other serious side effects.
Byetta Side Effects
Some of the most common Byetta side effects include:
- Low blood-sugar levels
- Upset stomach
- Acid reflux
- Dizziness, headache, jitteriness
- Hair loss
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
Byetta has also been linked to some severe, life-threatening side effects:
- Thyroid cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Kidney damage
- Kidney failure, renal impairment
Do I have a Byetta Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Byetta induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Byetta, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Byetta Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.
Free Case Evaluation
The Schmidt Firm, LLP has been recognized as one of the nation's leading plaintiff's law firms and handles cases in all 50 states. We are very proud of our legal achievements, but equally self-respecting of our firms reputation for providing personal attention to each and every client we represent.
No matter what type of case you have, you may contact us with confidence by filling out the email contact form below or calling us directly by dialing toll free 24 hrs/day (866) 920-0753.