Defective Drug Litigation

Byetta and Cancer Link

Byetta is an injectable drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works by affecting insulin production by the pancreas.1 Inflammation of the pancreas, called pancreatitis, is a serious side effect of the drug and has been linked to Byetta-related deaths.2

Byetta side effects

The common side effects of Byetta include weakness, headaches, dizziness and gastrointestinal effects.1 Diabetics with:

  • kidney disease or renal failure
  • digestion problems
  • pancreatitis
  • history of alcoholism, or
  • high triglycerides

should not use Byetta because of an increased risk of serious side effects.3

Pancreatitis and cancer

Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that often resolves itself in a matter of days. However, acute pancreatitis can be life-threatening. Symptoms include:

  • Tender, swollen abdomen
  • Rapid pulse
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting

Chronic pancreatitis is a long-term inflammation caused by the pancreas not healing. The condition leads to permanent tissue damage, resulting in worsening of diabetes, narrowed and calcified pancreatic ducts, gallstones and pseudocysts.4 Chronic pancreatitis is also a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.5

Byetta cancer warning

In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about Byetta being linked to certain forms of pancreatitis as well as thyroid and pancreatic cancer.6 In 2013, the FDA received additional information linking Byetta to a certain form of pancreatic cancer known as pancreatic duct metaplasia.2 Among the anti-diabetes drugs that are being investigated for causing pancreatitis, exenatide, the generic form of Byetta, appears to be the most likely to cause thyroid and pancreatic cancer.7

Byetta lawsuits

Because of the cancer warnings for Byetta and similar drugs, people who have been injured from using the drug as prescribed have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers.8 If you have suffered pancreatitis, pancreatic or thyroid cancer, or a loved one has died from the use of Byetta, a personal injury attorney can review your case and determine if you are entitled to compensation.

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