I replied in this thread (http://tudiabetes.com/forum/topics/byetta-red-coded). I've been on Byetta for over a year with marked success. The kidney problems are only 78 cases over 7 millions prescriptions. A pretty low rate. Given that kidney problems in diabetics already occur at a much higher rate, it is really hard to know whether there is an actual causal relationship. Even if there is, it is likely that those with impaired kidney function are most at risk.
Keep in mind that this is not even the most serious warning that is issued by the FDA. Avandia has a "Black Box" warning.
One always needs to keep these things in context. If you are getting a marked benefit from the medication you need to balance that against the risks. We often amplify certain risks and ignore others. Think about this the next time you get in your car and drive somewhere.
ps. The idea that there would be a "recall" is way overblown. This is the same sort of warning you will find on Tylenol.
The FDA has announced labeling changes on the diabetes drug BYETTA (exenatide). The revisions will warn doctors and patients of the risk of kidney failure and renal insufficiency when taking the medication. So far there have been at least four reported deaths from kidney failure associated with BYETTA use. This is not the first significant health risk that has been linked to BYETTA. The drug has been associated with acute pancreatitis, including at least two pancreatitis-related deaths.
To be frank I really don't care that a small minority of people have bad reactions to byetta, they shouldn't take it. There seems to be underlying health problems which seem to be related to the few deaths that have occurred.
As diabetics we should be pretty much used to monitoring what goes on with our bodies, and we should know about the drugs we take and the side effects. Byetta is a fantastic drug it does bring a better quality of life and keeps the insulin flowing as our bodies require it. The real issue with diabetes is the damage it does, the prospect of blindness and limbs being amputated doesn't appeal.
My heart has been giving me major problems I had a heart attack in july and only last week i needed a second artery stenting. The cardiac team could only see diabetes as being the reason for the rapid deterioration of my coronary artery
Byetta makes me hopeful for my future, I'm 44 I feel like i am 30 energy wise and thats since i started byetta a month ago.
Having survived a heart attack and getting very close to another 99% blockage of my LAD and having 2 stents in my heart, kidney failure is not something i am worried about the health benefits of well controlled diabetes which byetta brings to me out weighs the small risks of taking it.
I just started using tudiabetes yesterday. This may be an old discussion but I'll put my two cents in anyway. I used Byetta for over a year and changed to Januvia. I didn't change because of the injections, Januvia was more convenient only taking one pill a day. However, my glucose control wasn't nearly as good. In January I am going back on Byetta. I heard all the risks associated with Byetta when I was using that a year ago. I agree with the person who stated that risks are very low. I was wondering what the instance of developing kidney or other problems were in the population as a whole.
Good news about Byetta, the FDA may approve a once a day or once a week Byetta in 2010. It has had great success in Europe.
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