The Food and Drug Administration has received reports of two deaths and four hospitalizations among patients taking the drug called Byetta, which is given by injection. The patients who died had a condition where the pancreas destroys itself. The others had pancreatitis, or an inflammation of the pancreas. So, the FDA is recommending now that any patients taking Byetta who experience severe abdominal pain seek immediate attention.
The FDA is already working with the drug manufacturers, Amylin and Lilly, to strengthen the warnings on the label. The drug companies say pancreatitis is rare in the general public but more common among type-2 diabetes patients.