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Byetta Kidney Failure Lawsuit

Byetta Kidney Failure Lawsuit

In 2009, the FDA warned that Byetta (exenatide) could increase the risk of life-threatening kidney failure. Many Byetta patients who suffered from kidney failure have required dialysis a or kidney transplant. More than 90% of patients required hospitalization, and 4 people died.

What You Can Do & How a Byetta Lawsuit Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Byetta induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured by Byetta, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

What is Byetta?

The type-2 diabetes drug Byetta (exenatide) is used to help diabetics lower their blood-sugar levels. The drug has been marketed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly & Co. since 2005, making it one of the newest diabetes drugs in the United States.

The active drug in Byetta was developed from the poisonous saliva of the Gila Monster, a large lizard found in the southwestern deserts of the United States. The drug belongs to a class called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, which work by mimicking a hormone called GLP-1. The effect is that Byetta causes the pancreas to produce extra insulin, which lowers blood-sugar levels.

Byetta and Kidney Failure

Byetta patients may develop kidney failure, also known as “renal insufficiency.” This is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the kidneys stop cleaning the blood. Normally, the kidneys filter the blood, remove waste products and excess fluid, and balance the amount of salt, minerals (electrolytes), and water. Life-threatening chemical imbalances can occur if waste products and fluids build up in the blood.

The following types of kidney disease have been linked to Byetta:

  • Acute renal failure: The kidneys suddenly stop functioning.
  • Renal insufficiency: The kidneys function poorly, often because blood-flow to the kidneys is reduced or blocked.

Patients who are experiencing kidney problems can be diagnosed using an abdominal ultrasound, X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to check for blockages. They may also need blood tests to check kidney function. Once the source of the problem is discovered, the patient may need to be switched off Byetta. Treatment almost always involves hospitalization, and may include dialysis (mechanical cleaning of the blood), intravenous medications, and kidney transplant. The long-term complications of kidney failure may include permanent kidney damage, fluid build-up, weakness, and even death.

FDA Warning for Byetta and Kidney Failure

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Drug Safety Communication in November 2009 to warn about many reports of kidney failure in Byetta patients:

“From April 2005 until October 2008, the FDA received 78 cases of altered kidney function (62 cases of acute renal failure and 16 cases of renal insufficiency) in patients using Byetta. Some cases occurred in patients with pre-existing kidney disease or in patients with one or more risk factors for developing kidney problems.”

There were 78 people who reported kidney problems after using Byetta, and of these individuals:

  • 91% of people had to be hospitalized
  • 18 patients needed dialysis (cleaning of their blood with a machine)
  • 2 patients needed a kidney transplant
  • 4 patients died
  • 80% of patients were switched off Byetta
  • 50% of patients who stopped Byetta had improvements in kidney function
  • Kidney disease occurred as little as 3 days and up to 2 years after the patient started Byetta

The FDA also announced that they would update the warnings on Byetta. They advised that Byetta should not be prescribed to people with kidney problems, doctors should be cautious when increasing the dosage of Byetta in patients with symptoms of kidney problems, and doctors should also check Byetta patients regularly for development of kidney disease.

Does Byetta Cause Kidney Failure?

No one knows if Byetta causes kidney failure. Millions of doses of Byetta have been prescribed, and most people have not reported kidney problems. However, it is possible that Byetta causes kidney disease, because patients with no risk factors have developed Byetta kidney failure.

The FDA has warned that the most common side effects of Byetta may contribute to Byetta kidney failure:

“Altered kidney function, including acute kidney failure and renal insufficiency, has been reported in patients using Byetta.  Some cases have been associated with dehydration from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which are known side effects of Byetta.”

Symptoms of Kidney Failure

Individuals who take Byetta should be evaluated by a doctor if they develop the following symptoms of kidney failure:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Changes in urination (color, frequency, or amount)
  • Unexplained swelling in the extremities
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Lethargy
  • Changes in appetite or digestion
  • Dull ache in mid to lower back

Serious Byetta Side Effects

Byetta has been associated with many severe, life-threatening side effects. If you or your loved one was injured, contact our Byetta lawyers today regarding a potential lawsuit.

Do I have a Byetta Lawsuit for Kidney Failure?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Byetta induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured by Byetta, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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