A recent study published in Gastroenterology associated Byetta with a 2.9-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer based on 81 case reports. However, you may have been unaware of this risk when you decided to take Byetta.
Do I Have a Byetta Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has suffered from pancreatic cancer after taking Byetta, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Byetta pancreatic cancer lawsuit.
UPDATE: FDA Safety Alert for Pancreatic Cancer
March 15, 2013 — FDA publishes Safety Alert regarding potential risk of pancreatic cancer. Click here to read more.
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- How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for pancreatic cancer?
Byetta (exenatide) is a twice-daily injection drug that is used by people who have Type-2 diabetes. It is sold by Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co. The FDA approved Byetta in 2005 to be used in combination with diet and exercise to help control Type-2 diabetes. Interestingly, Byetta contains a compound that was developed from the poisonous saliva of the Gila monster, a large species of lizard that is native to the Southwestern United States.
Type-2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that can get progressively worse without treatment, which is why many people take a medication. Byetta is a synthetic mimic of the hormone GLP-1, which stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. When Byetta is injected, the pancreas produces even more insulin. Insulin triggers cells to absorb blood-sugar, which reduces high blood sugar levels.
Studies of Byetta and Pancreatic Cancer
In a study published in the journal Gastroenterology in 2011, researchers linked Byetta to a 2.9-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer. The conclusions of the study were based on an analysis of reports submitted to the FDA between 2004 through 2009. The researchers also found that Byetta was associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), which is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
More studies need to be conducted to better understand the link between Byetta and pancreatic cancer. Scientific studies are most significant when they involve large numbers of people taking a drug for many years. Because Byetta has only been approved since 2005, researchers are still collecting long-term safety data.
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic cancer is a disease that occurs when cells start dividing out of control inside the pancreas. The pancreas is an important digestive organ that secretes enzymes and hormones (including insulin and glucagon) into the stomach and intestines.
Pancreatic cancer usually has a very few treatment options and long-term prognosis because the disease is rarely diagnosed in its early stages. Only 20% of people with pancreatic cancer can be cured with surgical removal of cancerous tissue. After the cancer has metastasized (spread to other organs or tissues), a cure is no longer possible. Treatment involves palliative care to minimize complications and make the patient as comfortable as possible. The average person with pancreatic cancer survives for one year. The five-year survival rate is fewer than 5%.
Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
One reason why pancreatic cancer is so dangerous is because it rarely produces symptoms in the early stages. By the time a patient is bothered enough to seek medical care, pancreatic cancer has almost always progressed to a stage that is incurable. When pancreatic cancer does produce symptoms, they may include the following:
- Dark-colored urine
- Clay-colored stools
- Feeling tired or weak for no apparent reason
- Jaundice (characterized by a yellow discoloration of the skin, eyes)
- Decreased appetite, weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain, discomfort in the upper belly area or abdomen
- Pain may also be located on the back
- Blood clots
- Indigestion or diarrhea
Do I have a Byetta Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Byetta lawsuit review.