Byetta and Bydureon are two brand names for a drug called exenatide. The medicines, manufactured by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, are used to treat diabetes mellitus type 2. The drug was first approved in 2005, but in January 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a once-weekly injectable version called Bydureon, which is a longer-lasting version of Byetta.
The longer-lasting Bydureon had its approval delayed for several years, with the FDA rejecting it twice in 2010 because of evidence that the drug caused problems with heart rhythms. Unfortunately, patients taking Byetta may also experience cardiac problems as well as other unexpected and dangerous side effects, including gastrointestinal problems and acute pancreatitis.
Patients were not warned of many of the serious side effects of Byetta when the drug came to market, and as a result, many patients were surprised by the dangers of the drug. Drug manufacturers have an obligation to produce safe products and warn patients about the risks of any drugs they sell.
Lawsuits have already been filed against Amylin over problems related to Byetta and Bydureon. If you or a loved one experienced unexpected side effects while taking Byetta or Bydureon, you may have a claim for damages. The dangerous drug attorneys at Roberts & Roberts can help you to understand your options to obtain compensation.
Byetta helps to boost insulin production so patients with type II diabetes can better regulate insulin levels. Byetta quickly became a very popular medication for those suffering from type II diabetes because the drug can also stimulate weight-loss. Type II diabetes is related to obesity, and losing weight can help patients to manage the disease.
Unfortunately, while Byetta seemed to be a promising treatment since it could both encourage weight loss and help regulate insulin, problems began developing among patients who were prescribed and administered Byetta. For example:
- From April 2005 to December 2006, the FDA received 30 reports of patients developing acute pancreatitis while taking Byetta. In 21 of the 30 cases – 70 percent – the patients had to be hospitalized. In 2008, the FDA received additional reports of adverse events including four deaths from pancreatitis.
- A 2011 study published in Gastroenterology showed that patients taking Byetta are six times more likely to develop pancreatitis than patients taking other diabetes drugs.