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Byetta Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit

Byetta Pancreatic Cancer Lawsuit

The diabetes drug Byetta (exenatide) has been linked to a doubled increased risk of pancreatitis, which is a risk-factor for pancreatic cancer. The FDA issued warnings after a study found evidence of pre-cancerous tumors in patients on Byetta.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Byetta injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, 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.

FDA Investigates Pancreatic Cancer Risk

In March 2013, the FDA issued a Safety Communication about the risk of pancreatic cancer from Byetta. The agency opened an investigation into a study published in Diabetes by researchers at UCLA.

Researchers autopsied 20 pancreases from people with diabetes who died of strokes or head injuries, including 12 patients on incretin drugs for at least a year.

All of the patients on incretin therapy had excessive and abnormal cell proliferation in the pancreas, including “eccentric” growths around the pancreatic duct where most pancreatic cancers start.

Most of the pancreases also had small tumors. One patient on Byetta had microadenomas, which are benign tumors in the pancreas that must be removed with surgery because they can become malignant and cause pancreatic cancer.

More Information: Marked Expansion of Exocrine and Endocrine Pancreas with Incretin Therapy in Humans with increased Exocrine Pancreas Dysplasia and the potential for Glucagon-producing Neuroendocrine Tumors. Alexandra E Butler et al. Published online before print March 22, 2013, doi: 10.2337/db12-1686. Diabetes March 22, 2013

Studies Links Byetta and 3X Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

One study linking Byetta to pancreatic cancer was published in 2011 in the journal Gastroenterology. Researchers collected data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) and looked at the incidence of pancreatic cancer among Byetta patients. Compared to patients taking other diabetes drugs, Byetta users were 2.9-times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells begin dividing uncontrollably inside the pancreas, a digestive organ located near the stomach and intestines that produces the hormones insulin and glucagon.

Why is Pancreatic Cancer So Dangerous?

Pancreatic cancer is a particularly dangerous disease because it often has no symptoms in the early stages. By the time pancreatic cancer produces complications and is diagnosed, fewer than 20% of pancreatic cancers can be surgically removed and cured.

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer does not always produce symptoms in early stages. When it does produce symptoms, these may include:

  • Worsening blood-sugar control
  • Dark urine or clay-colored stools
  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin, eyes)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Back pain
  • Blood clots
  • Diarrhea, indigestion

Treatment

Most people with pancreatic cancer undergo treatment to remove cancerous tissue. If the cancer is more advanced, they may choose to undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy to increase their chance of surviving. However, once the cancer spreads beyond the pancreas, a cure is not possible.

Do I have a Byetta Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Byetta injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, 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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