The most common side effects of Byetta (exenatide) are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can potentially cause severe dehydration. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), kidney failure and pancreatitis associated with Byetta have caused 6 deaths and dozens of serious injuries. Researchers are also investigating a potential risk of pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer.
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?
Byetta (exenatide) is a diabetes injection “pen” that has been marketed in the United States since 2005 by Eli Lilly & Co. and Amylin Pharmaceuticals. It belongs to a new class of diabetes drugs that increase blood-sugar levels by mimicking a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Byetta helps prevent spikes of high blood-sugar after a meal by stimulating the pancreas to secrete extra insulin. Insulin is responsible for telling cells to absorb dissolved sugar in the bloodstream, which helps lower blood-sugar.
Byetta Side Effect Information
Common side effects of Byetta include:
- Low blood-sugar levels
- Upset stomach
- Acid reflux
- Dizziness, headache, jitteriness
- Hair loss
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
Severe, life-threatening side effects of Byetta include:
Byetta Side Effects and Pancreatitis
One of the most serious side effects of Byetta is pancreatitis, including:
- Acute pancreatitis: Sudden inflammation of the pancreas
- Hemorrhagic pancreatitis: Inflammation and bleeding in the pancreas
- Necrotizing pancreatitis: Death of pancreatic tissue, which can lead to life-threatening infection, multiple organ system failure, and death.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published two Drug Safety Communications to warn about Byetta pancreatitis. The first communication was published in 2007, after the FDA received 30 reports of pancreatitis in Byetta patients. The second communication was published in 2008, after the FDA received 6 reports of hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis. These severe side effects were linked to at least 2 deaths.
Byetta Side Effects and Cancer
Byetta may increase the risk of cancer. In February 2011, the medical journal Gastroenterology published a major study on Byetta side effects. Researchers from UCLA, led by Dr. Peter Butler, investigated adverse events that were voluntarily submitted to the FDA between 2004 and 2009. They found hundreds of cases of cancer in patients using Byetta, including:
- Pancreatic cancer: Researchers identified 81 cases of Byetta pancreatic cancer, and found a 2.9-fold increased risk.
- Thyroid cancer: Researchers identified 30 cases of Byetta thyroid cancer, and found a 4.7-fold increased risk.
Soon after the paper was published, Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly convinced the journal’s editor to retract the study. The lead researcher on the study cautioned:
“This analysis of the FDA database does not establish that pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer are caused by GLP-1 therapy. It simply raises the level of concern that they may be, and that the appropriate prospective studies are required to rule them out.”
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 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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