Product News and Recalls

Diabetes drug creates risk for kidney problems

A report in Health Magazine says the type 2 diabetes drug Byetta could put patients at risk for kidney problems, including kidney failure.

According to the report, Byetta is a relatively new drug that’s proven popular because it can promote weight loss and it’s easier to inject than insulin.

But within two years of its approval in 2005, it was linked to a higher risk of acute pancreatitis, which is a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas that can lead to pancreatic cancer. It has also been linked to thyroid cancer.

Another diabetes drug called Januvia has been linked to a similar risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

According to the Health Magazine article, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also received scores of reports of kidney problems related to Byetta in recent years, including kidney failure.

Overall, 91 percent of patients listed in those reports were hospitalized, 18 required dialysis, two had kidney transplants, and four died. The report says 80 percent of those patients stopped taking Byetta, and half of them had an improvement in kidney function afterward.

Health Magazine says people with type 2 diabetes should always be aware of the signs of kidney damage, as high blood sugar is a leading cause of kidney disease.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns, and before making any changes in medication. You should also consult with a Lopez McHugh attorney if you or a loved one was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking Januvia or Byetta.

See the report here:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/11/04/byetta.diabetes.risks/index.html