Byetta Pancreatic Cancer & Thyroid Cancer

Published on July 25, 2013 by Laurie Villanueva

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If you are experiencing fever, bloating, abdominal pain, loss of appetite or nausea after taking the diabetes drug Byetta, you may have fallen victim to Byetta pancreatic cancer side effects.

Concerns about not this diabetes medication, which is part of a class of drugs referred to as incretin mimetics, has grown steadily as patients continue to report diagnoses of pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis and thyroid cancer. In light of these fears, multiple warnings about a possible link between Byetta and pancreatic cancer have been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Those who may have developed one of these illnesses after taking this type 2 diabetes medication are encouraged to contact the nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP, whose Byetta attorneys are actively investigating potential claims on behalf of individuals who may have experienced injuries. Call today for a confidential case evaluation.

Byetta and Pancreatic Cancer

Byetta is a self-injectable diabetes medication that works to lower glucose levels by producing insulin. In 2012, the drug marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca generated more than $149 million in revenue.

A year earlier, the drug was flagged for concern when a study published in Gastroenterelogy reported that Byetta users were at a three-fold increased risk for pancreatic cancer.

The FDA alerted the public on March 14, 2013, that it would be investigating the Byetta pancreatic cancer link after learning this information, along with a wave of other research. The agency also became aware of an unpublished study that showed precancerous changes in the pancreas, known as pancreatic duct metaplasia, in those taking Byetta or another incretin mimetic. This was not the first time the FDA issued a public health alert about the dangers of this diabetes drug, however. The first warning was issued in 2008 after the agency received a large number of Byetta pancreatitis reports, including two deaths.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of death in women and men. If you are experiencing any of the following side effects, it is imperative that you notify your doctor right away:

  • Abdominal pain, especially a dull ache in upper abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Chills and clammy skin
  • Fatty and pale-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Vomiting

Byetta Thyroid Cancer

Along with the agency’s warning about Byetta and pancreatic cancer, the FDA has also asked the makers of the medication to study its potential to cause thyroid cancer. Pointing to a 2011 study in Gastroenterology that found 30 reports of thyroid cancer in users of incretin mimetics, the FDA acknowledged there was no definitive link identified but advised diabetics with a family history of thyroid cancer to not take Byetta or another incretin mimetic.

If you are experiencing one or more of the following side effects, you may have developed Byetta thyroid cancer:

  • A lump in the center-front of the neck.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Hoarseness or other changes in the voice.
  • Pain in the throat or neck.
  • Severely enlarged thyroid gland called a goiter
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Chronic cough

FDA Investigates Byetta and Pancreatic Cancer, Pancreatitis, Thyroid Cancer

According to a recent report from, FDA officials met with the National Institutes of Health on June 12th, 2013 to discuss the risk for Byetta and similar diabetes treatments to cause or worsen pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer. The agency said one way to delve deeper into investigating the safety of these medications may be for the FDA or drug companies to conduct a large clinical trial to show adverse event patterns.

Recent figures indicating the number of Byetta cancer and pancreatitis complaint reports filed with the FDA are even more disturbing. Over a 12-month period that ended in 2012, the Institute for Safety Medicine Practices (ISMP) published a report showing 263 pancreatitis reports, 71 reports of pancreatic cancer and 14 cases of thyroid cancer in Byetta users logged in the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting Database.

As of July 2013, at least 53 lawsuits involving incretin mimetics, including Byetta lawsuits, had been filed in federal jurisdictions throughout the U.S. All of these cases allege the drug’s potential to cause pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer or pancreatitis.

Did You Develop Byetta Pancreatic Cancer or Another Illness? Contact Our Firm Today.

As the agency continues to investigate Byetta’s potential connection to thyroid cancer, attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are calling on all individuals who may have developed these potentially life-threatening side effects to contact the nationwide law firm today. By filing a claim, you may be eligible to receive compensation for out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost wages, as well as any pain and suffering you may have been caused as a result of taking Byetta. Contact the Firm for a free and confidential case evaluation at .