Byetta Pancreatitis Risk Highlighted by FDA

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted August 19, 2008


The FDA has issued another warning to doctors about reports of users of Byetta developing pancreatitis. Following an earlier alert issued in October 2007, the FDA indicates that they have received at least six new cases of hemorrhagic pancreatitis or necrotizing pancreatitis associated with Byetta side effects. Two of these cases resulted in death.

>>PRIOR POST (10/17/2007): Byetta Pancreatitis Side Effects

Byetta is an injectable diabetes drug used to lower glucose levels for type 2 diabetics. Since its approval in 2005, over 700,000 people in the United States have received the drug and the FDA has received a high number of reports of side effects involving acute pancreatitis and more severe forms of pancreatitis.

As of October 2007, the FDA suggested that 30 cases of acute pancreatitis had been associated with use of Byetta, and doctors were told to instruct their patients to receive prompt medical care if they experienced unexplained severe abdominal pain so that the medication could be discontinued.

On August 18, 2008, additional information was posted on the FDA website about 6 more reports of cases involving hemorrhagic pancreatitis or necrotizing pancreatitis among users of Byetta. All of the patients were hospitalized, and two died.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, which typically causes severe upper abdominal pain which radiates through the back. It could also be associated with nausea and vomitting. The symptoms for more severe forms of pancreatitis are often not easily distinguished, but hemorrhagic pancreatitis could occur if erosion of the blood vessels causes severe bleeding and necrotizing pancreatitis can cause multi-organ failure from tissue damage.


The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are evaluating the potential for Byetta lawsuits for individuals diagnosed with pancreatitis. Information reported by the FDA and medical literature are being evaluated to determine whether the manufacturer should have been providing stronger warnings about the potential Byetta side effects which could cause hemorrhagic pancreatitis or necrotizing pancreatitis.

If you, a friend or family member have been diagnosed with pancreatitis resulting in substantial medical treatment, hospitalization or death, contact our product liability lawyers to review a potential Byetta lawsuit.

5 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • debra says:

    Around the fall of 2005, I was prescribed byetta. I started having pain in my abdomen and upper chest area. In addition, I had extreme nausea. At the end of December, I went to a Patient First. My pancreatic numbers were off the chart. I was told to go to the nearest hospital. I was admitted and spent 3-5 days with acute pancreatitis.

    Posted on October 28, 2008 at 7:24 pm

  • David says:

    My husband was prescribed Byetta in early 2006. In February 2007 he had abdominal pain, went to the ER and was sent home because they couldn’t find anything. All tests were fine including the test done to see if he was having a gall bladder attack. Then in March 2007 he had another attack. Went to the ER and he was admitted to the hospital for 7 days and told he had a pancreatitis attack. They also told him that he should have his gall bladder removed. We did not know about the side affects of Byetta until we heard about the lawsuit in November 2008

    Posted on December 28, 2008 at 10:18 pm

  • stephen says:


    Posted on March 17, 2009 at 5:21 pm

  • Georgiana says:

    I took Byetta for 1 year and was taken off the medicine i 2008 due to the fact I was having servere low blood sugar. I was getttng afraid to take this medicine. One time I ate and took the shot before the meal and suddenly without realizing, my husband said I turned white as a sheet and started slurring my words. I checked my blood sugar and it was 30. We all know what this means,an accident waiting to happen like a diabetic coma. I drank some juice and my sugar went back up. Had I have been alone, I would not have been able to even get up to save myself. Please be very careful when using this medicine. So far I am fine and didn’t have the addominal pains, this is just a heads up.

    Posted on May 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm

  • Valerie says:

    In July 2007 I was given Byetta for my diabetes and to assist in weightloss but the nausea and fatigue put me in bed for about 6 weeks. I couldn’t tolerate this drug. I was bedridden and unable to stay awake after my injections. After quitting I still suffer with chronic fatigue

    Posted on April 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm

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