Medical science is always advancing, and companies are quick to adopt new technologies to pass on to consumers. However, many drugs are released to the public before their full dangers are known—one such drug is the type 2 diabetes medication Byetta.

Dr. Peter Butler, UCLA’s director of the Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center, recently detected an increased risk of developing pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and thyroid cancer in diabetics taking Byetta. Dr. Butler and his team of researchers evaluated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's adverse events in patients using Byetta from 2004–2009 and found that cases of pancreatitis in Byetta patients were six times higher than in other treatments. They also found an increase in reported cases of thyroid cancer with Byetta.

Dr. Butler’s team revealed a threefold increase in reported cases of pancreatic cancer on Byetta, building on evidence from a 2009 study published in Diabetes, which found an increase in pancreatitis in rats with elevated GLP-1 levels.

While Byetta is a relatively new medication that may offer some advantages in treating type 2 diabetes, Butler warns that new medications are "the ones we know least about."

"When new drugs come out, the long-term side effects of these drugs are not well understood," Butler says.

Diabetics who are taking Byetta should always discuss treatment options with their doctors and report any side effects of their medications immediately. If someone in your family has developed cancer after taking Byetta, you should contact the attorneys at Gray and White to learn about your legal options. Contact our Louisville diabetes drug attorneys today at 888.450.4456 or fill out the contact form on the top of this page to find out about your legal options in your FREE case evaluation.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law
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