Exenatide & Cancer

An association between exenatide and cancer is becoming more apparent. Studies strongly indicate an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in type-II diabetics taking the injectable drug exenatide, marketed as Byetta and Bydureon. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing findings by a group of academic researchers that suggest pre-cancerous cellular changes may be associated with exenatide and other incretin mimetics. Links between exenatide and thyroid cancer already resulted in a Bydureon black box warning. Still, the drugs remain on the market, bringing their makers hundreds of millions of dollars each year while putting diabetics at risk for developing cancer.

Were you or a family member diagnosed with thyroid or pancreatic cancer after taking one of the exenatide diabetes drugs? If so, we encourage you to investigate your potential claim against the drugmaker by talking to an experienced pharmaceutical lawyer.

What is Exenatide?

Exenatide is in a class of drugs called incretin mimetics, and became the first incretin mimetic approved for clinical use by the FDA. A glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) based therapy, exenatide mimics incretin hormones the body usually naturally produces to stimulate the release of insulin after ingestion of a meal. The drug is approved for adults with type 2 diabetes to help control blood sugar levels.

Exenatide Cancer Risk

An analysis of adverse event reports found that reports of pancreatitis are 20-30 times more likelyin patients taking GLP-1 drugs, including exenatide. Researchers studying adverse events reported to the FDA determined that pancreatic cancer was more commonly reported among patients who took exenatide and sitagliptin (an incretin enhancer) as compared with other therapies.

Only two years after approving Byetta, the FDA asked manufacturer Amylin Pharmaceuticals to add information to the product label about the risk of acute pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can lead to pancreatic cancer.

Studies have also shown exenatide causes thyroid cancer in rats. Although the risk to humans is unknown, a Bydureon warning about the Risk of Thyroid C-Cell Tumors says it is not advisable for patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (thyroid cancer) or Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (heredity cancer syndrome associated with tumors of the endocrine system) to take the extended release drug.

Exenatide Cancer Lawyers

Exenatide cancer lawyers believe manufacturers failed to adequately warn medical practitioners and the public about the risk of serious and potentially fatal side effects associated with the use of the diabetes drug. If you or someone you know took an exenatide drug, whether Byetta or Bydureon, and developed cancer, speak to an experienced lawyer now.

The law firm Watts Guerra, one of the country’s most successful pharmaceutical injury firms, is currently handling the largest incretins pancreatic cancer injury and wrongful death docket in the United States. Watts Guerra LLP lawyers handle pharmaceutical cases on a national basis, and are accepting and investigating new exenatide cancer cases, including those involving thyroid or pancreatic cancer. Let our experienced trial lawyers help you.

Disclaimer: The images on this page of the Byetta packaging, product, and/or logo are for informational purposes; this website is neither affiliated with nor sponsored, endorsed, or approved by Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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Mikal C. Watts

Mikal C. Watts Mikal C. Watts is one of the most successful pharmaceutical lawyers in the country. He has handled many mass torts, including Ortho-Evra, Vioxx, Fen Phen, Rezulin, Zyprexa, and Sulzer hip implants. Mr. Watts leads a team of successful trial lawyers who handle pharmaceutical product liability cases across the country.
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