Byetta (exenatide) is an injectable twice-daily drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005, and has been prescribed by physicians to millions of Americans in the last decade.
It is a glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonist, or GLP-1. It falls into the same class of drug as Victoza, another diabetes drug currently facing litigation. Byetta is used in combination with proper diet and exercise to control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. In January 2012, the FDA also approved Bydureon, a version that is only to be taken once daily.
Reach out to our Byetta lawyers if you have suffered adverse effects after using this injectable drug. Our legal team can answer your questions and help you seek compensation.
Can Byetta Cause Pancreatitis?
Although it is used by millions of people who suffer from type 2 diabetes, there is growing concern about a number of complications believed to be linked to the GLP-1 class of drugs. Pancreatitis, a condition that occurs when enzymes inside the body begin attacking the pancreas, is one of these complications. If not treated, pancreatitis can worsen and sometimes even be fatal. In early stages of pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas, patients experience nausea, vomiting, and pain after eating. Later, the pain becomes more constant and radiates to the back. Eventually, the pain becomes so severe that victims have difficulty sitting. Addtionally, if left untreated or ignored, pancreatitis can lead to pancreatic cancer.
There are two different types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. Both types are very serious and if not treated can lead to death.
- Acute Pancreatitis: This is a form that is marked by rapid onset. If treated in a timely manner, the pancreas will return to normal size and the swelling will subside within days.
- Chronic Pancreatitis: This form does not normally heal or improve condition. The inflammation can become worse over time, and in some cases, cause serious damage.
Pancreatic cancer is a second serious complication associated with GLP-1 drugs. Pancreatic cancer is a life-threatening disease that is treatable, but the sooner it is discovered, the better chance of survival the patient has.
Byetta & Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer has been documented as a serious risk associated with taking diabetes medications such as Byetta. Other drugs such as Januvia and Victoza are facing similar litigation due to reports of these drugs causing pancreatic cancer in many individuals.
Pancreatic cancer is extremely dangerous because there are rarely symptoms present until much later in its development, causing patients to be misdiagnosed, or not diagnosed in a timely manner.
According to a study published in Gastroenterology, people who take GLP-1 drugs like Byetta to help manage diabetes are 2.7 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
Many experts believe that the multiple pancreatic cancer lawsuits being faced by many of the drug companies will eventually be consolidated into a single multidistrict litigation. At this time, however, they are being treated as separate lawsuits.
Pancreatic cancer is a particularly devastating cancer because it can be present for long periods of time without showing any signs of symptoms. Often, symptoms will not appear until the disease has spread to other areas of the body. If symptoms do appear, it is important to see a physician immediately. Here are the most common signs and symptoms.
- Upper abdominal pain that radiates to your back
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss without reason
- Feelings of depression
- Blood clots
Byetta Pancreatic Cancer Recall Information
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet issued a recall for Byetta despite the diabetes drug being linked to serious and life-threatening complications. According to a study published in Gastroenterology, people who take GLP-1 drugs to help manage diabetes are 2.7 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
While the FDA investigates these medications, lawsuits are being filed across the United States for patients who have experienced the extreme negative side-effects of the type 2 diabetes drug. Despite investigations and legal action taken against Byetta’s manufacturers, the drug continues to be prescribed to thousands of people each year.
What Are The Less Serious Side Effects Of Byetta?
RxList lists the less serious side effects. These side effects include one or more of the following:
- Upset Stomach
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
What Claims Have Been Filed Against Byetta?
There have been many lawsuits filed since the drug’s initial release in 2005, some of the lawsuits reported by Drug Watch include:
The estate of Regina Kelly filed a suit against Mark, Amylin and Eli Lilly. She had developed pancreatic cancer after taking the prescription drugs Januvia and Byetta. Her estate alleges that the drugs “permanently and severely injured” her, ultimately being the cause of her death.
Joel Whiteley’s mother, was prescribed Januvia in August of 2007. She died of pancreatic cancer in August 2009. Her son was able to file personal injury claims on behalf of her estate as well as a wrongful death claim. The case is currently pending in the federal MDL and discovery is currently underway.
Anyone looking to file a lawsuit against Byetta should work with an experienced attorney for the best chance to receive compensation.
Work with a Byetta Attorney for Help
Our Byetta lawyers can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by taking Byetta.
The following criteria must be met to file a lawsuit against Bristol-Myers Squibb, the drug manufacturer:
- Suffered from pancreatic cancer
- Took the drug for at least one year prior to diagnosis
Lawsuits have been filed against Bristol-Myers Squibb by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by this dangerous drug.