The injectable Type 2 Diabetes drug Byetta has been linked to Pancreatic Cancer. The drug is manufactured by the multi-billion dollar drug giant AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.
What Is Byetta?
Byetta is an injectable Type 2 Diabetes maintenance medication, originally synthesized from lizard spit. The drug was designed to help control blood sugar levels by helping the pancreas to produce insulin more efficiently. It was originally approved by The FDA in 2005 as an alternative to traditional insulin treatment. Byetta is not for use in treating Type 1 Diabetes.
How Is Byetta Used?
Byetta is administered by a “pen”, which is a self contained plastic unit that injects exact amounts of the drug under the skin. Byetta is usually injected before breakfast and dinner. Proper dosage of the drug is decided by a doctor and may be adjusted over time. Though Byetta is marketed as a “pen” it does have needles that pierce the skin, so proper understanding of used needle disposal is crucial.
Byetta Side Effects
Besides Pancreatic Cancer, Byetta treatment comes with a host of risks. If you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms while, or after taking Byetta, contact your health care provider immediately.
Severe Side Effects (stop using and call your doctor immediately):
- Pancreatitis – severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate
- Low blood sugar – headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, nausea, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or shaky
- Kidney problems – little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.
The FDA as well as the European Medicines Agency have both launched independent research into the link between Byetta and Pancreatic cancer. This comes after numerous reports identified a possible link between the drug and the disease in rodents.
What Is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic Cancer is an aggressive organ cancer that is considered to be especially dangerous, as it often presents without distinct symptoms until it is in an advanced state. Each year close to 50,000 men and women are diagnosed with the disease. This form of cancer almost always presents over the age of 45. There are two general classifications of Pancreatic Cancer:
Exocrine – The part of the pancreas that makes digestive substances
Endocrine – The part of the pancreas that produces insulin and hormones
Both Exocrine and Endocrine forms of Cancer have numerous less common sub cancers. Only a licensed Oncologist can properly diagnose and treat Pancreatic Cancer.
What Are Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
Doctors refer to Pancreatic Cancer as a “silent killer” because it is notoriously hard to detect in early stages. However, if properly diagnosed, the disease is considered to be treatable. Doctors recommend yearly cancer screenings if you are over the age of 45 or have any risk factors for the disease including, obesity, diabetes, inactivity, family history and increased age. If you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
- Yellow skin and eyes,
- darkening of the urine,
- itching, and clay-colored stool,
- Pain in upper abdomen or upper back
- Painful swelling of an arm or leg
- Burning feeling in stomach
- Stomach bloating
- Floating stools with a particularly bad odor and an unusual color
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
Byetta Lawsuits Escalate
Since initial reports of Pancreatic Cancer being linked to Byetta, a number of sufferers have filed suit against AstraZeneca in an attempt to hold the drug giant accountable for their devastating injuries. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after taking Byetta, you are not alone. Last year AstraZeneca saw revenues of over $23 Billion USD.
Byetta And Pancreatic Cancer In Summary
Byetta is an injectable Type 2 Diabetes drug that comes in a self contained “pen” style applicator. The doses are premeasured and are intended to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. The drug was developed from reptile saliva as an alternative to traditional insulin treatments. Byetta has been shown to cause Pancreatic Cancer in test animals. Those diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer while taking Byetta have begun to file suit against the drug’s manufacturer AstraZeneca