Intensive research and tests are required before a pharmaceutical company is able to produce a drug that would help treat or lessen the worsening effects of serious illnesses people are suffering from. And even before gaining approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to be made available to the public, clinical trials should show that this newly manufactured drug has manifested the benefits it claims to provide.
The various prescription drugs that have been previously approved by the FDA to treat type II diabetes have certainly undergone research and clinical tests. These have also been proven effective, until a few years after being prescribed to millions of patients, when serious side-effects or death were linked to these. Though some of these drugs worked much better than the ones they preceded, as well as effectively slowed down the worsening of diabetes just as their manufacturers said, the serious injury these have caused cannot be denied. Thus, rather than easing the condition of diabetics, these have been the cause of more life-threatening health conditions.
Byetta (exenatide), which was approved by the FDA in 2005 for type II diabetes patients, is another drug that has been linked to serious side-effects. On its website, Williams Kherkher gives valuable information about this drug, how it works and the danger of using this medicine that is injected into the body twice a day, specifically, “within 60 minutes of the first and last meals.” It goes on to says that, after being injected on the arm, thigh or abdomen, Byetta mimicks the natural hormones of the body for insulin production. Though effective, it has been linked to health risks, such as development of pancreatic duct metaplasia , the cause cancer in the pancreas. This same information is reported by the FDA Drug Safety Communication.
It has been reported that between 2005 and 2008, close to seven million patients had been prescribed with Byetta. It was also during these years when 78 cases of kidney failures and other kidney-related problems were reported to the FDA. Specifically, in 2007, higher risk of developing acute pancreatitis was linked to the use of Byetta. Acute pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas, is a life-threatening condition.
Other common side effects of Byetta include nausea, vomiting, hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar (this happens when Byetta is used with other diabetes drugs), diarrhea, dizziness, headache , upset stomach or heartburn, feeling of weakness, decreased appetite, increased sweating and Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
After reports of the injury or side effects caused by Byetta were communicated by the FDA, majority of the patients to whom the drug has been prescribed stopped using it. Many of those who stopped were also reported to have had improvement in the function of their kidney.