Byetta Cancer. Did Manufacturers Know About Potential Health Risks?

byetta cancer

When Did Manufacturers Know About Byetta Cancer Health Risks?

Claims that Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly failed to communicate the potential risk of pancreatic Byetta cancer, are nearing the pre-trial phase.

The reality of the risk is evident in stories like that of Rebecca Richard, who filed a claim on behalf of her deceased husband, David, who developed deadly pancreatic cancer as a result of taking Byetta.

David was prescribed Byetta in July of 2005 and took it until May of 2010, when he began experiencing extreme pain in his abdomen. When David sought urgent medical attention in April of 2011, he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer (known as “Byetta cancer”). Once pancreatic cancer spreads, a patient stands only a 1.8 percent chance of surviving longer than five years. David passed away in July that year.

Byetta was originally approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes by the FDA in April of 2005 and has been used by more than 1.8 million patients since then.

Initial suspicions that the FDA might issue a Byetta recall surfaced in 2007, when the FDA received reports of six deaths from pancreatitis among patients. The recall suspicions, however, became nothing more than a warning to consumers of increased pancreatic risks. In 2009, Byetta kidney failure warnings were added.

After reports linking Byetta with thyroid cancer were released in 2010, the FDA required Amylin Pharmaceuticals to investigate any connection between Byetta and thyroid cancer.

UCLA researchers published a study in 2011, which suggested diabetes drugs like Byetta could increase the risk of thyroid cancer by 473 percent and the risk of pancreatic cancer by 290 percent. Additional research has shown that Byetta is linked to pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, kidney failure and pancreatitis.

Although, Amylin, the maker of Byetta, was forced by the FDA to add warnings for pancreatitis and kidney problems, they have not issued a Byetta recall.

If you have taken Byetta, it’s important to be aware of the adverse effects listed below. These are the most commonly reported conditions and their symptoms.

Thyroid Cancer

  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
  • Hoarseness, difficulty speaking normally, voice changes
  • Difficulty swallowing, or a choking feeling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent or chronic cough not due to allergies or illness
  • Some particularly aggressive thyroid tumors can go to the brain and cause neurological symptoms


  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Abdominal pain that radiates to your back
  • Abdominal pain that feels worse after eating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tenderness when touching the abdomen
  • It is a known risk factor for later developing pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

  • Upper abdominal pain that may radiate to your back
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Blood clots
  • Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Only 20% of patients survive the first year of the disease, and only 4% are still alive 5 years from diagnosis.

Kidney failure

  • Vomiting
  • Changes in urine output
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain, if fluid accumulates around the lining of the heart
  • Shortness of breath, if fluid accumulates in the lungs
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control

Byetta cases may be consolidated with Victoza and Januvia cases for pre-trial purposes very soon. So if you or a family member took any of these drugs a lawyer could help you seek compensation for:

  • Lost income due to time off work
  • Medical-related costs paid out of pocket
  • Emotional pain and trauma

There are time limits on filing a claim so act quickly. The statute of limitations or time limit could be dependent on when the Byetta cancer — pancreatic cancer or thyroid cancer — pancreatitis or kidney failure was diagnosed and in what state the medication was prescribed.

A Byetta lawyer from 1-800-THE-LAW2 can help file a claim to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.