What is the problem with Byetta?

Byetta has been linked to several potentially deadly side effects, including problems that can lead to pancreatic cancer.

Research indicates that the class of drugs known as “incretin mimetics,” which includes exenatide (Byetta and Bydureon) can cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis can lead to pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, and other maladies.

A Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study found that the risk of developing pancreatitis doubled in patients who took Byetta or other incretin mimetics. Research also suggests that Byetta increases the risk of pre-cancerous cellular changes called “pancreatic duct metaplasia” in patients with type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says.

Even the Byetta website warns that “serious side effects can happen in people who take Byetta, including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which may be severe and lead to death.”

In addition, the FDA has reported that it has received dozens of reports of renal failure (kidney failure) in patients who used Byetta. Renal failure, which can be fatal, can be caused by pancreatitis.

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