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Published: March 1st, 2013
The use of the diabetes drug Byetta may increase the risk of developing chronic, asymptomatic pancreatitis, which could ultimately lead to a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer from Byetta.
BYETTA LAWSUIT STATUS: As a result of the drug maker’s failure to properly research the side effects of Byetta or provide adequate warnings about the impact of the medication on the pancreas, product liability lawyers are reviewing potential Byetta pancreatic cancer lawsuits on behalf of individuals nationwide.
MANUFACTURERS: Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb
OVERVIEW: Byetta (exenatide) is a type 2 diabetes drug which was approved by the FDA in April 2005 to help reduce blood sugar levels. Amid aggressive marketing and promotion, millions of prescriptions for the Byetta pen have been written.
The drug belongs to a class of drugs known as incretin mimetics, which mimic the action of endogenous incretin hormones like GIP and GLP-1, which are found in the gastrointestinal tract. Byetta lowers blood glucose levels by stimulating insulin secretion from pancreatic cells.
Shortly after the Byetta pen was introduced, reports of pancreatitis among users began to emerge. Although pancreatitis is a substantial risk factor for the subsequent development of pancreatic cancer, due to the chronic inflammation and increased cell turn over, Amylin Pharmaceuticals failed to warn users or the medical community about the importance of monitoring for the first signs of changes to the pancrease.
BYETTA PANCREATITIS SIDE EFFECTS: In October 2007, the FDA issued an alert about reports of at least 30 users of Byetta diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. That warning was updated by the FDA in August 2008, after at least six additional cases of necrotizing pancreatitis or hemorrhagic pancreatitis were identified among Byetta users, including at least two deaths
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, which can cause symptoms like:
- Severe upper abdominal pain which may radiate through the back
- Nausea and Vomiting
- High or Low Blood Pressure
- Elevated Heart or Respiratory Rates
If a user of the Byetta pen develops pancreatitis, it is important that the medication be stopped to avoid further risk of more serious injury. However, as a result of Amylin Pharmaceutical’s failure to warn about the risk of pancreatitis, many individuals continued to use the diabetes injection.
BYETTA PANCREATIC CANCER LAWSUITS: A number of recent studies have suggested that there may be a link between Byetta and pancreatic cancer.
According to a study published in the medical journal Gastroenterology in February 2011, the development of pancreatic cancer among Byetta users was three times greater than among other diabetics.
In the February 2013 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers raised serious concerns about the Byetta pancreatic cancer risk, after a study found that individuals treated with Byetta were twice as likely to be hospitalized with pancreatitis, which could ultimately lead to pancreatic cancer.
Amylin Pharmaceutical’s failure to warn about the Byetta pancreas cancer risk has had devastating consequences for individuals throughout the United States, as it is the fourth most common cause of cancer related deaths in the United States.
Pancreatic cancer symptoms may include:
- Upper abdomen pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Fatigue and weariness
- Nausea and Vomiting
Contact a Byetta Lawyer About Pancreatic Cancer
Byetta pancreatic cancer lawyers are reviewing potential lawsuits for individuals throughout the United States as a result of Amylin Pharmaceutical’s failure to provide adequate warnings for users or the medical community. To review a potential claim for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.