Byetta (generic: exenatide), a widely-prescribed type-2 diabetes drug, has recently been linked to pancreatitis. This disease occurs when the pancreas becomes severely inflamed, and has the potential to lead to full-blown pancreatic cancer. Signs and symptoms of Byetta pancreatitis may include unexplained abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and rapid weight loss.
Byetta Pancreatitis Update 2/26/13: The popular type 2 diabetes drugs Byetta and Januvia may double the risk of users developing pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that can lead to cancer and kidney failure. The new information, which was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that patients hospitalized with pancreatitis were twice as likely to be taking Januvia or Byetta than a control group of diabetics who didn’t have the disease. Click here to learn more.
Free Byetta Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer after taking Byetta, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of Byetta and we can help.
What is Pancreatitis?
The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach between the upper part of the small intestine and spleen that regulates digestion and metabolism. These essential bodily functions may be compromised by pancreatitis, a condition that occurs when pancreatic digestive enzymes become active within the gland and attack the pancreas itself. Pancreatitis can be acute — appearing suddenly and lasting for just a few days — or it can be chronic, developing gradually and persisting over a prolonged period of time.
Byetta Pancreatitis Symptoms
- upper abdominal pain
- abdominal pain that radiates to your back
- abdominal pain that feels worse after eating
- tenderness when touching the abdomen
- losing weight without trying
- oily, smelly stools (steatorrhea)
Treatment & Prognosis (Outlook)
Treatment for patients diagnosed with Byetta pancreatitis usually includes a stay in the hospital for intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and prescription medication to relieve the pain. The patient may be advised not to eat or drink during the hospital visit so the pancreas can rest. If vomiting occurs, a tube may be placed through the nose and into the stomach to remove fluid and air.
In moderate cases of Byetta pancreatitis, the condition usually clears up in a week or so. In more severe cases, the patient may require nasogastric feeding – a special nourishing liquid through the nose – until the pancreas heals. Before leaving the hospital, the patient will be advised not to smoke, drink alcohol, or eat fatty foods.
FDA Video: Pancreatitis in Patients Taking Byetta for Diabetes
Below is an excellent video published by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which warns patients of the link between pancreatitis and Byetta.
FDA Byetta Pancreatitis Update
As of August 2008, the FDA has reviewed 30 adverse event reports (AERS) of acute pancreatitis in Byetta users. Of the six cases of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, all patients required emergency hospitalization, two patients died, and four patients were recovering at the time of reporting. The law offices of Schmidt & Clark, LLP, continue to be contacted by individuals claiming to have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer after using the Byetta diabetes pen.
Additionally, the FDA has advised doctors to inform Byetta patients to seek emergency medical assistance if they begin to experience unexplained abdominal pain which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting. This could be a symptom of Byetta pancreatitis. The administration has also requested that the manufacturer of Byetta, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. add stronger and more prominent warnings in the product label about the risk of acute hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis.
IMPORTANT: There are no signs or symptoms that distinguish acute hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis associated with Byetta from the less severe form of the disease.
Byetta Side Effects
In addition to having the potential to cause pancreatitis, the Byetta pen has also been linked to the following side effects:
- pancreatic cancer
- thyroid cancer
- tissue damage
- cellular necrosis
- organ damage
- kidney failure
Less severe Byetta side effects have been reported to include:
- stomach discomfort
Do I Have a Byetta Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Byetta lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Byetta pancreatic cancer and Byetta thyroid cancer cases in all 50 states.
Free Byetta Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer after taking Byetta, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Byetta suit and we can help.