The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert for the diabetes medication Byetta (exenatide). Byetta is an injectable medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes.
Byetta hit the market, in April of 2005. It is widely prescribed for managing blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It is usually prescribed with oral medications, so that better control can be achieved.
In December, 2006, Medical News Today reported that a half million people were prescribed Byetta with the numbers growing since that time.
Thirty cases of pancreatitis have been reviewed by the FDA. The FDA considers the incidence of some of the cases of pancreatitis to be associated with use of Byetta. 30 cases compared to more than half a million Byetta users, is a very small number, but Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will comply with the FDA and add information about acute pancreatitis in the "precautions" section of Byetta's label.
Don't stop taking Byetta. The FDA is not recommending that doctors stop prescribing Byetta. The drug is successful at treating type 2 diabetes for most people. If you have concerns about taking Byetta, discuss them with your doctor.
What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?
- Sudden pain, sometimes severe, in the upper abdomen. Pain may radiate to the back or chest.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swollen abdomen, with tenderness
- Rapid pulse
If you have these symptoms and you are on Byetta, contact your doctor right away.