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Could Byetta Cause Cancer in Diabetics?

En Español

doctor talking to patientOn May 9, Elizabeth Childress filed a lawsuit against Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly & Co. in response to her treatment of type-2 diabetes which resulted in the development of thyroid cancer. According to reports, Childress had taken Byetta, a brand name injection of exenatide, for several years. In 2011, doctors diagnosed Childress with thyroid cancer. Byetta (exenatide) and similar medications are now under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the life-threatening side effects associated with these treatments.

Incretin Mimetics: Helping and Harming Diabetics

Byetta belongs to a class of medications called incretin mimetics. Many persons with type-2 diabetes rely on a combination of these medications to reduce blood-sugar levels and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Recent investigation indicates that these medications could block Dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 enzymes which are thought to prevent the spread of cancerous cells.

For this reason, many healthcare professionals believe that while this twice-daily injection may help stabilize your blood sugar levels, the chemical action of Byetta may actually leave you defenseless against certain cancers. An increase in lawsuits regarding patients who have developed pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, and thyroid cancer support these findings.

Byetta and Bydureon

Bydureon, an extended-release version of Byetta poses similar threats to patients. After running experiments with this medication on mice, date revealed an increased likelihood for the development of thyroid tumors. By 2012, marketers had changed Bydureon labels to include warnings of thyroid side effects. As indicated by Childress, although research reflects the same for use of Byetta, no information about this risk is included on medical labels. For this reason, many feel that manufacturers have inadequately informed consumers about the adverse reactions related to Byetta.

FDA Investigations

Like Childress, many victims of incretin mimetics side effects have taken product marketers to trial for a failure to warn patients of the risk of thyroid and pancreatic cancers related to the medications. Evidence points to incretin mimetic type-2 diabetes treatments as the culprit of these adverse reactions. However, defending suppliers of Byetta and similar medications argue that there has not been sufficient research conducted to give proof to the correlation.

Find out about the on-going investigation of type-2 diabetes treatments such as Byetta and Januvia by reading more at bad-drug.net.