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Byetta: A Diabetes Drug Causing Deaths

September 13, 2008 | 67,070 views

drug, injectionThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to strengthen warnings about life-threatening pancreas problems linked to the type 2 diabetes drug Byetta, after receiving two reports of deaths and four other hospitalizations in Byetta users.

All six patients had hemorrhagic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas with bleeding) or necrotizing pancreatitis (in which the inflamed pancreas destroys itself).

The four survivors were still recovering at the time that the FDA learned of their illness.

Byetta, given by injection, was approved by the FDA in 2005. Last October, the FDA noted 30 reports of acute pancreatitis (sudden inflammation of the pancreas) in Byetta users.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Byetta was originally approved as an “add-on” drug for diabetes, meaning that it’s usually prescribed along with other drugs like metformin and insulin. Even as an add-on drug, which are widely known as being less profitable for the drug companies, it brings in about $197 million a quarter, according to Eli Lilly.

Perhaps this has something to do with its high price tag. According to BNET, it costs up to $225 a month, and is up to 10 times more expensive than generics.

Meanwhile, the side effects, as the above report reveals, are steep. The most common side effects, according to the drug’s patient information, are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, feeling jittery and stomach acid. Byetta can also cause abdominal pain, and possibly life-threatening pancreatitis.

Pancreattis is usually marked by abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and fever, and it can lead to potentially fatal complications including:

• Infection
• Respiratory failure
• Shock (extremely low blood pressure that can cause death within minutes)
• Pseudocysts and abscess, which may require surgery to treat

If pancreatitis becomes chronic, it can actually trigger several diseases, one of which is diabetes!

Already, two Byetta users have died from pancreatitis, and at least 30 other reports have surfaced. One of these victims, a man from Virginia, is suing the manufacturer and marketers of the drug, Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, due to his injuries.

According to his lawsuit, Amylin "failed to adequately warn prescribing physicians of the risk of pancreatitis, of measures needed to properly assess the appropriateness of prescribing the drug to certain categories of patients, and of measures doctors and patients could and should take to minimize the risk."

It seems a storm is slowly brewing over yet another diabetes drug, which is not surprising considering their sordid history.

If you or someone you love has diabetes, and you’re wondering where to turn, there’s great news.

The Truth Is You Don’t Even Need Diabetes Drugs

Type 2 diabetes, the type that affects over 95 percent of diabetics, is virtually 100 percent curable with SIMPLE lifestyle changes.

However, if you are a diabetic and don’t fully understand the underlying causes of your disease and how it works, you are putting yourself at greater risk of developing complications. (Unfortunately, a vast majority of doctors are also misinformed, thereby giving out misleading information about proper self-management.)

Conventional medicine still insists on treating diabetes as a disease of blood sugar.


Because that’s how they can treat it with drugs. However, type 2 diabetes is not merely a disease of elevated blood sugar. It’s a disease of insulin and leptin (a hormone) signaling. These are deeper roots that CAN be treated and corrected -- through diet and exercise.

Eliminate Your Diabetes in Three Easy Steps

If you have diabetes, it is urgent that you take action now, as this is a ruthless disease. I say this from a very personal level, as most of my paternal relatives (my dad included), have, or have died from, diabetes.

My personal experience with diabetes and review of the literature made it VERY clear to me that virtually every case of type 2 diabetes is 100 percent reversible.

And let me guarantee you, the cure for type 2 diabetes has NOTHING to do with giving insulin or taking drugs. Giving someone with type 2 diabetes insulin is actually one of the WORST things that can be done. Any physician doing this is suffering from profound ignorance of insulin physiology.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of physicians are still seriously confused about this issue, which is why most doctors cause diabetics to D. I. E

As I write this, the number of Americans with diabetes has grown to about 24 million people, or roughly 8 percent of the U.S. population. The CDC estimates another 57 million people have a condition called pre-diabetes, which puts you at increased risk for the disease.

So the diabetes epidemic is clearly worsening, and this is a major sign that conventional medicine has got it all wrong, and their recommendations are NOT working (and in some cases like the two people who died from pancreatitis, are actually making people’s health much worse).

Conventional treatment that is focused on fixing the symptom of elevated blood sugar, rather than addressing the underlying disease, is doomed to fail in most cases. Treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar while raising insulin levels can actually worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication that is at the root of diabetes. It just trades one evil for another.

And all the while, the solution to this pervasive problem has been available, and it’s remarkably simple. In order to cure your diabetes (or prevent it in the first place), you should:

1. Severely limit or eliminate sugar and grains in your diet.

2. Eat a diet that’s right for your nutritional type. While nearly all type 2 diabetics need to swap out their grains for other foods, some people will benefit from using protein for the substitution, while others will benefit from using more vegetable-only carbohydrates. Therefore, along with reducing grains and sugars, determining your nutritional type will give you some insight into what foods you should use to replace the grains and sugars.

3. Exercise regularly and at the appropriate intensity. It increases the sensitivity of your insulin receptors, causing the insulin already present to work much more effectively, so your body doesn't need to produce as much. I’ve discussed how to use exercise to your best advantage in this past article.

If you’d like to further accelerate the healing process, I’d add to this:

• Get plenty of animal-based omega-3 fats such as krill oil
• Get enough high-quality sleep every night 
• Treat the emotional issues that contribute to poor health by learning a valuable, effective and non-invasive tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

And that’s really all there is to it. If you are currently taking, or considering taking, drugs or insulin for diabetes, I highly suggest you contact a knowledgeable health care practitioner who can help you to avoid these health-damaging products and steer you toward natural healing instead.

[+] Sources and References

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