Saturday, October 20, 2007

Caution Regarding Byetta

The FDA this week warned healthcare workers to be on the lookout for pancreas inflammation in people taking Byetta (exenetide) to control their blood glucose. The warning stemmed from 30 postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis in people taking Byetta.

The pancreas is a small organ that sits behind the stomach. It releases insulin and other substances needed for digestion.

MedLine lists these symptoms of pancreatitis:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Clammy skin
  • Fatty stools
  • Fever
  • Mild jaundice (yellow skin)
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, see your doc. Pancreatitis can be ruled out by checking levels of certain chemicals in blood, or by imaging procedures.

Labeling Changes
"FDA has asked and the maker of Byetta, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has agreed to include information about acute pancreatitis in the PRECAUTIONS section of the product label."
- FDA Alert, Exenatide (Byetta)