Bydureon (exenatide) is a medication prescribed to patients who suffer from type-2 diabetes and has been linked to an increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has issued postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis due to the use of exenatide drugs such as Bydureon. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of Bydureon due to the severe and sometimes fatal side effects.
Bydureon is an extended-release medication manufactured by AstraZeneca, a multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company. The incretin-based drug therapy helps to control blood-sugar levels by improving insulin production which helps the body absorb sugar. Patients are typically instructed to inject Bydureon in their stomach, upper arm or thigh once a week.
Bydureon FDA Warning
In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration released a Safety Communication report detailing the potentiality of life-threatening side effects from incretin mimetic drugs. It referenced a study done by academic researchers who found an increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in patients who died from unspecific causes. More specifically, the FDA linked Bydureon to and increased risk of “pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, and pre-cancerous cellular changes called pancreatic duct metaplasia.”
Bydureon Side Effects
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Pancreatitis: severe pain in the upper stomach along with an increased heart race, nausea and vomiting
- Kidney problems: painful urination, little to no urination, a swelling in the feet or ankles, and a shortness of breath
- Irritation at the injection site
- Headache, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation
In the same communications report, the FDA referenced another unrelated study that published that an increased use of exenatides, such as Bydureon, doubled the risk for patients to develop acute pancreatitis.
Bydureon Lawsuit Settlements
In August 2015, AstraZeneca settled 84 lawsuits related to the use of Byetta and Bydureon cancer cases for an undisclosed amount. Though the information of such settlements was not released to the public, both drug giants have faced hundreds of lawsuits claiming pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis and thyroid cancer as a result of Bydureon use.