Byetta side effects linked to risk of pancreatitis

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted October 17, 2007


The FDA issued an alert yesterday indicating that the diabetes injection Byetta has been associated with serious and potentially fatal side effects for some users.  There have been at least 30 reports of acute pancreatitis associated with the injection, which is given to some individuals with type 2 diabetes.  The manufacturer has agreed to update the warning label to provide additional information about this potential Byetta side effect.

UPDATE 8/21/2008: Byetta lawsuits are now being reviewed and evaluated for individuals diagnosed with pancreatitis after receiving the drug.

Byetta is an injection used by those who are unable to effectively lower their blood-sugar or blood-glucose levels with other diabetes drugs.  It is co-marketed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co.  It was approved by the FDA in 2005 and has been used by approximately 700,000 individuals throughout the United States. 

Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas which can be fatal in some cases.  Symptoms of the Byetta side effect could include severe abdominal pain which is persistent and may radiate to the back.  This could be a potential sign of acute pancreatitis and it may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

The FDA indicates that the warning label will be updated to include additional information about the pancreatitis risk associated with Byetta.  Although there is currently information about pancreatitis on the Byetta label, the new warning will provide clearer indications about the signs of problems and more information about the risks.  If signs or symptoms of Byetta side effects appear, immediate medical attention should be sought and doctors have been advised to stop the medication immediately if pancreatitis is suspected.

UPDATE 8/19/2008: The FDA has issued a follow up alert about additional reports of pancreatitis for Byetta users. At least 6 new cases have been reported of hemorrhagic pancreatitis or necrotizing pancreatitis, resulting in at least two deaths.


The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are evaluating and reviewing potential Byetta lawsuits for individuals with type 2 diabetes who have been diagnosed with pancreatitis which may have been caused by Byetta side effects.  If you, a friend or family member have been diagnosed with acute pancreatitis after using the diabetes injection, request a free consultation.

4 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Barbara says:

    I had an abdominal ultrasound 2.5 years ago and my gallbladder was clear. I am presently 63 years old. I started taking Byetta about the same time and lost 45 lbs but it never got my blood sugar down. In the last 3 mts, my blood sugar has been very high. I was not feeling good and was having pain in my abdomen. I had another abdominal cat scan and it showed a gallbladder full of stones and pancreas inflamed. My A1C was 10. I had surgery last week for removal of the gallbadder. I stopped taking the Byetta and my blood sugar numbers have gone down dramatically. I will not take the Byetta again.

    Posted on March 18, 2008 at 7:53 pm

  • Dan says:

    I have been taking Byetta for a couple of years, have lost over 100 lbs. my blood sugar is very good. My dr. is through with blood test and kidney functions test. Lately I have been having problems with my back, thought it was my mattress, but it seems more in the kidney area.

    Posted on July 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm

  • Fred says:

    I have taken Byetta for about 4 months now and have lost over 35 pounds. I have had no nausea at all and every time I step on a scale my eyes can’t believe them. This is just like Resulin. A great medicine comes out and a lot of people just do not do what the doctor tells them to do. I can see the drug company will have to take this off the market and I will be screwed again.

    Resuilin saved my life because I did what my doctor told me to do and I went every 3 months to have my liver functions tested. You need to go to your endocrinologist EVERY 3 months whether you have the money or not. Once you are diabetic, your health comes first and you have to find the money and GO to him EVERY 3 months, like it or not and do what he tells you to do.

    Posted on August 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm

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