Audience: Endocrinologists, other healthcare professionals, consumers
[UPDATED 08/18/2008] Since issuing Information for Healthcare Professionals in October 2007, FDA has received reports of 6 cases of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis in patients taking Byetta. Byetta is a medicine given by subcutaneous injection to help treat adults with type 2 diabetes. Of the 6 cases of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, all patients required hospitalization, two patients died and four patients were recovering at time of reporting. Byetta was discontinued in all 6 cases. Byetta and other potentially suspect drugs should be promptly discontinued if pancreatitis is suspected. There are no signs or symptoms that distinguish acute hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis associated with Byetta from the less severe form of pancreatitis. If pancreatitis is confirmed, initiate appropriate treatment and carefully monitor the patient until recovery. Byetta should not be restarted. Consider antidiabetic therapies other than Byetta in patients with a history of pancreatitis.
[Posted 10/16/2007] FDA has reviewed 30 postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis in patients taking Byetta (exenatide), a drug used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. An association between Byetta and acute pancreatitis is suspected in some of these cases. Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has agreed to include information about acute pancreatitis in the PRECAUTIONS section of the product label.
Healthcare professionals should be alert to the signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis and instruct patients taking Byetta to seek prompt medical care if they experience unexplained, persistent, severe abdominal pain which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting. If pancreatitis is suspected, Byetta should be discontinued. If pancreatitis is confirmed, Byetta should not be restarted unless an alternative etiology is identified.
[October 16, 2007 - Information for Healthcare Professionals - FDA]