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.
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.
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