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Byetta and Januvia

Byetta and Januvia are popular drugs prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes to help them maintain healthy blood sugar levels. However, both drugs have been linked to an increased risk of pancreatitis – an inflammation of the pancreas – and research indicates the drugs are also linked to 2 types of cancer.

The warning labels on these drugs do not describe the full extent of the dangerous conditions linked to them. This means thousands of diabetics may have taken Byetta or Januvia without understanding the risks they faced.

Diabetes Drugs Linked to Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatitis is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, which is among the most fatal and least treatable forms of cancer. Research published in Gastroenterology in 2011 found the drugs can increase the risk of pancreatitis by as much as 10 times.

  • Exenatide, sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb as Byetta and Bydureon, carries a 2.9 times increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Sitagliptin, sold by Merck as Januvia and Janumet, carries a 2.7 times increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

On March 14, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration announced that new research linked Byetta and Januvia to “pre-cancerous cellular changes” in the pancreas. UCLA researchers found the drugs can increase the mass of the pancreas by as much as 40%. This can be a precursor to cancer.

Research has linked drugs like Byetta and Januvia to another type of cancer, as well: cancer of the thyroid. The 2011 study published in Gastroenterology linked Byetta to a 4.7 times increased risk of thyroid cancer, while Januvia carried a roughly 50% increased risk.

Get Help

If you or a loved one suffered from pancreatitis or cancer after taking Byetta or Januvia, you deserve compensation from the maker of the drug that harmed you. The Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer wants to help you seek justice and get compensation for your expenses and your family’s suffering. Contact us today by calling (888) WITZER-6 for a free, no-obligation consultation.


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