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Byetta & Januvia Lawsuits

Type 2 Diabetes Drugs Linked to Pancreatic Cancer & Other Side Effects

Byetta and Januvia, both type 2 diabetes medications, have been linked to serious side effects. One of these is pancreatic cancer. This deadly disease claims the lives of 95% of patients within five years of the time they are diagnosed.

Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP is committed to representing patients and families of patients who have been affected by pancreatic cancer caused by Byetta and Januvia. Our pharmaceutical litigation attorneys are experienced and fully dedicated to preserving the rights of the injured as we seek to hold negligent pharmaceutical companies, testing laboratories and medical professionals accountable for their wrongdoing. Headquartered in the Empire State Building in New York City, New York, we also oversee offices across the country, in California, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Long Island.

Our attorneys have more than 150 years of collective legal experience and have recovered more than $4 billion in settlements and awards since 2000. We are proud to maintain an ongoing AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest rating attainable for ethics and legal ability. All four of our founding attorneys are also recognized as Super Lawyers® by Thompson Reuters.

Finding the right law firm to handle your lawsuit can be difficult, particularly in a complex case involving side effects caused by a prescription drug. You will need expert witnesses to show the science and medicine behind your injuries and how they were caused by the drug. That is where Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP can make all the difference. In addition to our more than a century of legal experience, we have considerable resources to investigate patients' claims of pancreatic cancer related to Januvia and Byetta. We have access to a network of qualified professionals, including investigators and expert witnesses, to help us build compelling cases for our clients.

Byetta (Exenatide) Injection

Byetta (exenatide) injection belongs to a class of drugs known as incretin mimetics, which imitate the action of endogenous incretin hormones like GIP and GLP-1, which are found in the gastrointestinal tract. Byetta lowers blood glucose levels by stimulating insulin secretion from pancreatic cells.

Byetta was first introduced to the market in 2005. Since its introduction, more than one million people have taken the drug. An estimated ten million prescriptions have been filled. With such large numbers of patients being exposed to Byetta, it is no wonder that adverse reactions were soon reported. Some common and less serious side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, feeling jittery and acid stomach. Nausea is a particularly common side effect experienced by patients when they first start taking Byetta.

Since its 2005 approval, Byetta has been the subject of several safety updates by the FDA. Through the years, the FDA has warned patients and healthcare providers of the potential for pancreatitis, acute pancreatitis and altered kidney function in Byetta users. In November of 2009, the FDA issued a report summarizing these risks. The report also stated that Amylin Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the drug, was being required to conduct six studies about the risk of pancreatitis, thyroid cancer and pancreatic cancer. This was one of the first official indications that Byetta may be linked to cancer, and is a source of much concern for past and current Byetta users.

It has been alleged that the manufacturers of Byetta, Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly & Co, did not adequately test Byetta in an attempt to rush the drug to the market. As a reaction to the lawsuits waged against it, the manufacturing company, Eli Lilly & Co, issued the following statement: "Our mission as a company is to bring needed therapeutic solutions to patients. Significant unmet need exists among patients with diabetes, and the condition's prevalence and complications from it are projected to rise sharply as we look to the future. Lilly has a strong heritage of bringing new diabetes innovations to the market and we know that patients and health care professionals want choices to treat this complex disease throughout its progression."

Despite these words, the facts continue to stack up: Byetta is not safe to take and has caused much harm to its consumers and their families. In 2009, the FDA received 78 reports of users experiencing altered kidney function, including at least 62 reports of kidney failure while taking Byetta. Click here for an overview of the FDA warnings and reports on Byetta.

Januvia (Sitagliptin)

Januvia (sitagliptin) is an oral medication prescribed to control type 2 diabetes in adults by lowering too-high levels of glucose in the blood. It is meant to be used along with a diet and exercise program, and possibly other medications.

Januvia was first approved by the FDA in October of 2006, marking the first diabetes mediation approved in its class of medications, DPP-4 inhibitors. These enhance the body's ability to lower blood sugar by prolonging the activity of proteins that increase the release of insulin (the chemical that breaks down glucose in the blood) when the blood sugar rises.

After its approval, it became apparent that the drug was causing problems in some patients. The FDA released safety alerts regarding such serious side effects as acute pancreatitis, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and kidney problems. The drug currently carries a boxed warning, or black box warning, which is the most serious label that a drug may carry.

Click here to view the Januvia Medication Guide.

Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Both Januvia and Byetta have been linked to pancreatitis, as evidenced by FDA warnings and the drugs' own Medication Guides. The negative impact of these drugs on the pancreas may increase the chance of a patient developing pancreatic cancer. In fact, chronic pancreatitis is listed as a potential cause of pancreatic cancer by several reputable sources in the medical field, including the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center of Johns Hopkins Medicine and the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. One of the primary issues is that it is caught after it has already progressed to a stage where treatment has less of a chance of bringing the condition into remission. It is estimated that 38,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and that only 4,000 will survive. 95% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will die within five years.

Take Legal Action: Contact an Attorney at NBRS

Facing off against pharmaceutical giants like Eli Lilly or Amylin Pharmaceuticals is best done with a well-known and widely respected firm by your side. Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP is nationally recognized for our representation of plaintiffs in pharmaceutical litigation and other related areas of law. In addition to our experience, track record of success and resources, we have the level of commitment to our clients that is a must when seeking justice on their behalf. Take this opportunity to find out how we can help you – contact an attorney at our firm to discuss filing a lawsuit for pancreatic cancer caused by Byetta or Januvia. Your initial consultation is free and strictly confidential.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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