Have you or a loved one been experiencing serious and life threatening side effects after using the anti-diabetic drug, exenatide, which is sold under the brand name Byetta? If so, you may be at serious risk for developing complications.

According to recent studies, Byetta has been shown to cause thyroid and pancreatitis cancer. Approved by the FDA in April of 2005, and designed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, the medication is made for the treatment of Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes. It is usually prescribed in combination with other types of anti-diabetic drugs including sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and metformin.

In 2007, the FDA started to issue a black box warning on Byetta, which is the most serious alert the FDA can give on a package label. The black box label warned patients and health care professionals of the pancreatic complications the product may cause. Not even a year later, in 2008, the FDA had issued a second warning against Byetta, which stated the drug had been the cause for 4 deaths, and 4 others had been hospitalize for necrotizing of the pancreas and hemorrhaging. Then, in 2009, the FDA had disclosed reports of 78 kidney problems that had been caused by Byetta. The FDA then began to investigate if Byetta was the cause for thyroid cancer in 2010.

Symptoms and side effects of Byetta include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Major pain in upper stomach, spreading to back
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood sugar (headaches, weakness, sweating)
  • Changes in mood
  • Diarrhea
  • Dull pain in the lower or middle back
  • Urinating less than usual
  • Swelling
  • Weight gain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased thirst

Byetta can cause serious infections, damage to tissue, cellular necrosis, and hemorrhaging. More than 30 reports have been received by the FDA stating that users who had used Byetta were experiencing acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), a potentially fatal condition. Out of these reports the FDA received, 5 patients had also suffered from a kidney failure and even worse symptoms after having a Byetta dosage increase. Amongst the 30 patients, most of these symptoms became better after stopping the use of Byetta.

Byetta helps those who have Type 2 diabetes by relieving insulin and preventing the over-production of sugar. Unlike the other types of anti diabetic drugs, users using exantide usually don’t suffer from the excess insulin, which is able to reduce one’s blood sugar, or even worse cause hypoglycemia.

The medication is given as a subcutaneous injection and comes in various strengths which range from 300mcg/1.2mL to 600mcg/2.4mL. Patients are told to inject Byetta under the skin twice a day into their thigh, abdomen, or arm. Patients must take Byetta within one hour before eating a meal, not after a meal.

Between 2005 and 2008, health care physicians had prescribed the medication over 7 million times. As of August 2008, the prescriptions for Byetta were being held around 250,000 each month.

While it hormone exendin-4 based, Byetta is much different than ordinary lab drugs. Researches and scientists had found that the exenatide held similar functions as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which help in promoting insulin secretion in the pancreas as well as glucose metabolization.

If you have been experiencing any symptoms after the use of Byetta, stop using it at once and turn to a legal professional. You may be eligible to file a claim against the product manufacturers and gain compensation for any pain, suffering, or medical expenses Byetta may have caused you.