some new insight on BYETTA

By bucky Latest Reply 2011-07-16 09:54:31 -0500
Started 2008-11-01 16:25:27 -0500

Byetta Linked to Pancreatitis & Deaths
Diabetes drugs are not only necessary for millions of patients, but the market for such medications continues to grow at a rapid pace given the extreme need many people have for any help that can be provided for this condition that’s extremely dangerous if it’s not treated with care and diligence.

Several pharmaceutical giants have entered the fray with diabetes drugs, and one that’s enjoyed a high level of success in the past few years is known as Byetta, which is on the market due to a joint effort between Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co., has recently joined the ranks of medications that have come under fire from the FDA due to increasing reports of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.

Byetta was originally released onto the market in 2005, and its primary function is to help patients with diabetes manage their condition. It’s administered by injection, and it’s estimated that 700,000 people have made use of Byetta since its release date. From 2005 until sometime in 2007, no serious problems were reported in connection with Byetta. However, that all began to change in October of last year.

Problems Encountered
The FDA initially issued a report in October regarding the reports of 30 patients encountering serious problems with their pancreas. Specifically, the patients developed pancreatitis, and many of them developed an acute level of the condition, thereby placing the patients in immediate danger.

However, the FDA issued another report in recent days that ordered the drug companies involved to formulate and place a more direct and strict warning label on all containers of Byetta due to an additional set of reports of pancreas-related side effects in six more patients, two of whom ultimately died from acute pancreatitis. Symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea, severe abdominal pain and vomiting, all due to the swelling of the pancreas. If this condition is not treated, it can be fatal.

The pancreas needs to function properly in all people, especially diabetes patients, as its mission within the body is to produce hormones and fluids, including insulin, which diabetics lack, thereby creating the need for help in producing and distributing it properly within the body.

12 replies

kj66 2011-07-16 09:54:31 -0500 Report

My doctor put me on Byetta back in April and could only take it for 30 days because of extreme abdominal pain and developed pancreatitis. I lost 14 pounds and was upset because my BS was finally doing great (between 82-120). Well now the doctor thinks I have pancreatitis again - pain in my stomach and back,nausea. I don't know for sure if it was the Byetta that caused it - but it could have.

bucky 2008-11-03 19:48:26 -0600 Report

Please note i got this from WEBMD this isnt from some lame website that is just tring to scare people into lawsuits or discontining this drug, also Please take note at the bottom people with DM 2 are more likely to get the side affects seeming this is a Diabetes site i would think this would be a good place to post something like this! now im not tring to scare people off the drug but seeming that i take it everyday i like to do some research on crap that im putting into my body an i thought i would share what i found.

FDA Notes 2 Byetta Deaths
FDA Receives 2 Reports of Death, 4 More Hospitalizations in Patients Using Type 2 Diabetes Drug Byetta
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDAug. 18, 2008 — The FDA today said it plans to strengthen warnings about life-threatening pancreas problems linked to the type 2 diabetes drug Byetta after getting two reports of deaths and four other hospitalizations in Byetta users.

Those patients had hemorrhagic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas with bleeding) or necrotizing pancreatitis (in which the inflamed pancreas destroys itself).

All six patients were hospitalized, and their Byetta treatment was stopped. The four survivors were still recovering at the time that the FDA learned of their illness.

Byetta and other potentially suspect drugs should be promptly discontinued if pancreatitis is suspected and not restarted if pancreatitis is confirmed, notes the FDA. Byetta, given by injection, was approved by the FDA in 2005.

Last October, the FDA noted 30 reports of acute pancreatitis, which is sudden inflammation of the pancreas, in Byetta users. None of those patients had hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis.

At the time, the FDA asked Byetta's maker, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, to include information on acute pancreatitis in the "precautions" section of Byetta's label. Now, the FDA is working with Amylin to strengthen and draw attention to warnings about acute hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis.

Amylin and the drug company Eli Lilly and Company collaborate on Byetta. Amylin spokeswoman Anne Erickson emailed a joint statement from Amylin and Lilly to WebMD.

The companies state that pancreatitis is rare in the general public but more common among type 2 diabetes patients.

In patients using Byetta, there have been "rare" case reports of pancreatitis and "very rare" case reports of pancreatitis with complications or fatalities, and the proportion of complicated or fatal cases is "similar" to that observed in the general public with pancreatitis, according to Amylin and Lilly.

kdroberts 2008-11-03 22:45:58 -0600 Report

"Please take note at the bottom people with DM 2 are more likely to get the side affects"

No, that's not what it says or means. Having diabetes increases your chance of pancreatitis in general, not the chances of getting side effects from Byetta. So, it could be that all the people who had the cases of pancreatitis reported would have got it regardless of the drugs they were on.

kdroberts 2008-11-03 08:25:25 -0600 Report

Well, firstly. Don't get your information from a website that is trying to make money by having you sue the manufacturers. They have a vested interest in making Byetta look like the worst drug in the world so it won't be complete or unbiased.

Secondly, look at the number of people who take byetta and those who have the reported pancreatitis. Here's a quote that sums it up pretty well. “There are more than 700,000 patients using Byetta and 30 reports of pancreatitis. That’s 0.00428 percent or 1 case in 23,364 patients. That’s rare.”

Thirdly, look at the reports. Pretty much every patient that had the pancreatitis reported had one or more other risk factors (not including diabetes) for pancreatitis. I believe only 1 or 2 had no risk factors other than diabetes which in itself raises your risk.

Lastly, don't jump on a news story as fact. most are not reported well and are jazzed up to sell. A lot of the stories over the last few years have been based of 1 study or something small that hasn't been fully looked into or understood. The news just jumped on them because the subject matter is guaranteed to get viewers/listeners/readers.

One last thought. Byetta is not really a chemical, it's a synthetic form of something you already have in your body. It's a synthetic version of a hormone your body naturally produces, just like the newer synthetic insulins are.

Goddess 2008-11-03 09:47:10 -0600 Report

Is it safe or not to use?

kdroberts 2008-11-03 10:25:11 -0600 Report

Nothing is guaranteed safe, especially when you talk about medication. If it was guaranteed unsafe then it would have been withdrawn. I was reading something earlier about a study in people treated with aspirin to prevent heart attacks. It said the chances of serious side effects of aspirin in the study were 0.42%. That's 100 times more than Byetta. Actually, the number of deaths attributed to aspirin per year is a few hundred.

You have to weigh up the pros and cons for yourself. All medication has a risk of side effects but so does the problem they try to treat.

kdroberts 2008-11-03 10:31:35 -0600 Report

That's up to you and them. You have to discuss the pros and cons with them and how you feel about it. No one else can say you should switch because no one else knows your medical history or how well your current treatment plan works.

timmer 2008-11-03 06:43:45 -0600 Report

Byetta didn't work for me. About an hour after injecting it my blood sugar dropped below 20. I didn't do anything different. before injecting I was at 195. My doctor took me off of the drug and now only take Lantus and pills. It seems like a crap shot controlling this disease

Bluebutterfly 2008-11-03 04:58:32 -0600 Report

I am afraid of most diabetes meds. now byetta didn't help at all and now I am reading more warnings on it. I was put on avandia twice a day and I worry about this, I just don't know what is the best way to go. I hate knowing I have so many chemicals in my body but I don't know what else to do.

Avera 2008-11-02 22:15:55 -0600 Report

I'm glad you posted this here. I posted something of the same on the News and Articles section and only 5 people read it. I worry about people not knowing some of the bad side effects of this medicine.

Jh862 2008-11-01 17:36:34 -0500 Report

Wow, thanks for posting this. My now former Doctor was going to switch me to Byetta. Of course, he came up with that idea after his visit from the drug rep. I noticed everything in his office had Byetta stickers. That's when I finally realized I needed to find a new Dr.

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