FDA Links Generic Drug Exenatide To Pancreatitis
Exenatide (also known as Byetta), one of a number of medications designed to help diabetics control their blood glucose levels, has been known to be extremely effective. Unfortunately, exenatide also carries the risk of serious and even life-threatening adverse effects.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of exenatide on April 28, 2005 for patients that were not seeing any improvements while taking some of the popular oral medications for diabetes that were on the market at the time. This new type was injectable, administered under the skin twice per day. Most patients administer a Byetta injection in the stomach, upper arm, or upper thigh.
The exenatide drug is manufactured and marketed by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, along with Eli Lilly and Company. Recently, consumer watchdogs, doctors, and others have criticized the company for not warning consumers about potentially devastating adverse effects of exenatide. Though not as serious, more common symptoms include:
However, the most dangerous complication associated with the use of exenatide is pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a life-threatening condition caused by inflammation of the pancreas. In 2007, the FDA began requiring the two pharmaceutical giants to create additional warning labels on the medication, after at least 30 reports of the life-threatening malady were connected to exenatide use to control insulin secretion. Since that requirement took effect, there have been several more deaths, and the FDA has reportedly begun considering more changes to warning labels, to include the possibility of bleeding and cell death.
The symptoms typically associated with exenatide are acute, appearing suddenly. Intense upper abdominal pain that radiates throughout the body is common, as is nausea and vomiting. In some cases, internal bleeding, extreme changes in blood pressure, and altered heart and respiratory rates begin immediately. Most cases of exenatide ailments are identified through a computed tomography, or CT scan, which is like a 3-dimensional x-ray.
Without immediate treatment, exenatide patients may quickly begin to express some of the following painful medical conditions:
High blood sugar
Systemic inflammatory response syndrome
Infection of the organ bed
Pharmacists prescribe exenatide to help diabetes patients control their blood sugar levels by modifying insulin secretion and other factors. Aside from the terrible reactions listed above, some patients find the medication to be extremely effective, even beneficial to their quality of life.
The huge corporations behind the insulin therapy are currently developing a version that has longer-lasting effects than the current product. Considering the drastic potential for painful problems associated with the formula that is in use now, the FDA may require a series of long-term studies to ensure consumer safety. If it does cause damage to the pancreas, the current therapy will simply last longer and cause more problems.
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