Byetta (exenatide), Januvia (sitagliptin), or Janumet (sitagliptin with metformin)

Since 2005, the prescription drug Byetta (exenatide), an injectable medication, has been prescribed to hundreds of thousands of diabetics to control their blood glucose (sugar) levels. However, on August 18, 2008 the United States Food and Drug Administration issued the followingSafety Update about Byetta: “Since issuing Information for Healthcare Professionals in October 2007, FDA has received reports of 6 cases of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis in patients taking Byetta. Byetta is a medicine given by subcutaneous injection to help treat adults with type 2 diabetes. Of the 6 cases of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, all patients required hospitalization, two patients died and four patients were recovering at time of reporting. Byetta was discontinued in all 6 cases. Byetta and other potentially suspect drugs should be promptly discontinued if pancreatitis is suspected. There are no signs or symptoms that distinguish acute hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis associated with Byetta from the less severe form of pancreatitis. If pancreatitis is confirmed, initiate appropriate treatment and carefully monitor the patient until recovery. Byetta should not be restarted. Consider antidiabetic therapies other than Byetta in patients with a history of pancreatitis.”

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in August of 2012), the manufacturer of Byetta, contains the following warning on its product website, “Serious side effects can happen in people who take BYETTA, including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) which may be severe and lead to death. Before taking BYETTA, tell your healthcare provider if you have had pancreatitis, stones in your gallbladder (gallstones), a history of alcoholism, or high blood triglyceride levels. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that is severe, and will not go away. The pain may happen with or without vomiting and may be felt going from your abdomen through to your back.”

Since 2006, the prescription drugs Januvia (sitagliptin) and Janumet (sitagliptin with metformin), have been prescribed to hundreds of thousands of diabetics to control their blood glucose (sugar) levels. However, in December of 2009 the United States Food and Drug Administration issued the following warning about Januvia: “There have been postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis, including fatal and non-fatal hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, in patients taking Januvia. It is unknown whether patients with a history of pancreatitis are at increased risk for the development of pancreatitis while using Januvia.” That same month, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued the following warning about Janumet: “There have been postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis, including fatal and non-fatal hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, in patients taking Janumet. It is unknown whether patients with a history of pancreatitis are at increased risk for the development of pancreatitis while using Janumet.”

Through the Januvia website, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., the manufacturer of Januvia issued the following statement, “Serious side effects can happen in people who take JANUVIA, including pancreatitis, which may be severe and lead to death. Before you start taking JANUVIA, tell your doctor if you’ve ever had pancreatitis. Stop taking JANUVIA and call your doctor right away if you have pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that is severe and will not go away. The pain may be felt going from your abdomen through to your back. The pain may happen with or without vomiting. These may be symptoms of pancreatitis.” The Janumet website contains the following statement, “If you have had pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in the past, it is not known if you have a higher chance of getting pancreatitis while you take JANUMET.”

If your physician has prescribed Byetta, Januvia, or Janumet for you, you should immediately discuss whether there are safer alternative drugs for you. After weighing the risks and benefits, you and your physician can determine what drug is best for you. If you live in California, have taken any of these three drugs, and have suffered pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), pancreatic cancer, or other pancreatic disease, you should know that attorney and physician Paul J. Molinaro is available to answer your legal questions and help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation from the manufacturer of this drug. You can reach Paul J. Molinaro, M.D. J.D. toll free at (888)MDJDLAW. The initial consultation is also free, and if Paul determines that you have a case, and you decide to hire Paul, he will represent you on a contingent basis.

Ratings and Reviews