DIABETES MEDICATIONS MAY CAUSE DEADLY PANCREAS, KIDNEY DISEASES
Byetta (exenatide, also sold as Bydureon) is a medication prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes. Byetta is administered under the skin through an injection before the first and last meal of the day, and Bydureon is a once-a-week injection. Byetta and Bydureon are manufactured by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and marketed by AstraZeneca. The diabetes medication was introduced to the American market in 2005. More than seven million prescriptions have been filled for Byetta since its approval.
Incretin mimetics, like exenatide (Byetta) and liraglutide (Victoza), act like incretin hormones such as glucagon-like peptide-1, which stimulates the release of insulin. Incretin mimetics can also suppress appetite by slowing the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. These diabetes medications have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used alongside other diabetes drugs.
There are side effects associated with all incretin mimetics, including:
- Loss of appetite
BYETTA LINKED TO INCREASED RISK OF SEVERE PANCREATITIS
Since its approval in 2005, Byetta has been issued several warnings from the FDA regarding its dangers to the pancreas.
In 2007, the FDA found that Byetta was linked to an increased risk of developing an acute version of pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis signs include persistent abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Less than a year later, the FDA revised their safety warning for Byetta, stating that the dangerous drug could cause severe pancreatitis, including hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis. The FDA revealed that two patients who reported severe pancreatitis died. Stronger and more prominent warnings were added to Byetta’s label regarding the risk of life-threatening pancreatitis.
FDA INVESTIGATING RISK OF PANCREATIC CANCER IN INCRETIN MIMETIC DIABETES DRUGS
The FDA announced that they are investigating a possible increased risk of pancreatitis and pre-cancerous findings of the pancreas from the use of incretin mimetic drugs. In 2013, the agency announced that they are reviewing unpublished research findings that suggest a link between the diabetes medications and pancreatic duct metaplasia. The findings were based on an examination of pancreatic tissue taken from patients after their death. The investigation includes several diabetes medications in the incretin mimetic classification.
Although the FDA has not drawn any conclusions regarding the potential link as of yet, the investigation signals the potential of another risk associated with Byetta and similar dangerous diabetes drugs.
BYETTA DRUG LABEL REVISED AFTER INCIDENTS OF KIDNEY FAILURE IN PATIENTS
In 2009, the FDA approved revision of Byetta’s drug label to include information about altered kidney function in some patients. Between 2005 and 2008, the FDA received 62 cases of acute renal failure and 16 cases of renal insufficiency in patients using Byetta. Symptoms of altered kidney function include changes in urination, swelling in the extremities, increased blood pressure, lethargy, and changes in appetite.
INJURED BY A DANGEROUS DIABETES DRUG? CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS
If you or a loved one has suffered from a pancreas or kidney problem after taking Byetta or Bydureon, you may be entitled to compensation. You deserve dynamic representation from a law firm with the resources necessary to take on the pharmaceutical companies. Thomas J. Henry has a track record of helping clients receive record-breaking verdicts, settlements, and judgments. Contact our experienced drug recall and pharmaceutical litigation attorneys 24/7, nights and weekends for a free case review.