<"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Byetta-Side-Effects-Pancreatic-Liver-Thyroid-Cancer-Lawsuit">Byetta and Januvia, both drugs that treat type 2 diabetes, have been linked to an increased risk of pancreatitis, and possibly pancreatic cancer, by a recent study published in the journal Gastroenterology. According to a report from EMaxHealth, animal studies of both Byetta and Januvia have previously shown that they can promote growth of the pancreatic ducts, and there has been concern that such a side effect in humans could increase the risk for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
Januvia belongs to a class of drugs known as dipeptidyl peptidaseâˆ’4 inhibitors, while Byetta is known as a glucagon-like peptide-1 mimetic. Both drugs lower blood sugar levels for diabetics by promoting the action of the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) in the gut.
The Gastroenterology study involved a review of side effect reports made to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System between 2004 and 2009. According to the Gastroenterology study:
â€¢ Use of Januvia or Byetta increased the odds ratio for reported pancreatitis 6-fold as compared with other therapies.
â€¢ The reported event rate for pancreatic cancer was 2.9-fold greater in patients treated with Byetta compared to other therapies.
â€¢ The reported event rate for pancreatic cancer was 2.7-fold greater with Januvia than other therapies.
The study authors also examined the frequency of reported adverse events of thyroid cancer with the GLP-1 mimetic therapies vs Avandia. According to the Gastroenterology article, the reported event rate for thyroid cancer in patients treated with GLP-1 mimetic therapy was increased and reached statistical significance in the Byetta group, but not among patients treated with Januvia.
Neither Byetta nor Januvia were associated with a higher reported rate of other cancers.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that, if chronic, can cause significant damage to the pancreas. Symptoms may include:
â€¢ Upper abdominal pain
â€¢ Abdominal pain that radiates to your back
â€¢ Abdominal pain that feels worse after eating
â€¢ Tenderness when touching the abdomen
â€¢ Losing weight without trying
â€¢ Oily, smelly stools (steatorrhea)
Pancreatitis is a risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
â€¢ Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
â€¢ Pain in the upper or middle abdomen and back.
â€¢ Unexplained weight loss.
â€¢ Loss of appetite.