Prescription onlyClass: Endocrine



Prescription onlyClass: Endocrine
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Lowers your blood sugar.

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Our bottom line

Byetta (Exenatide) helps lower blood sugar for people with diabetes and causes weight loss, but it has to be given by injection and many people have upset stomach.

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  • Lowers A1c levels by 1% (A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
  • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs.
  • Has a lower chance of causing low blood sugar than medications like glyburide or insulin.
  • Can lower your appetite by making you feel full. Some people also lose weight when taking Byetta (Exenatide).
  • Byetta (Exenatide) is not a replacement for diabetes pills, but you may be able to use it alone without the need for pills.
  • The injectable “pen” has easy to use doses which you may find more convenient than other types of injections.


  • Only lowers A1c levels by 1%, which may not be enough to get your blood sugar in the safe range.
  • Byetta (Exenatide) must be injected twice a day.
  • Up to 40% of people taking Byetta (Exenatide) have upset stomach and side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or indigestion.
  • Because Byetta (Exenatide) can interact with antibiotics and birth control pills, you can't take it until one hour after these medications.
  • Other diabetes medications work as well and are cheaper.
How it works

Byetta (Exenatide) is a medication for diabetes. It stimulates your body to produce and release more insulin, lower the sugar hormone (glucagon), and slow down digestion.

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Side effect rates for Byetta (Exenatide)

232 From clinical trials of Byetta / Type 2 diabetes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Risks and Warnings for Byetta (Exenatide)

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  • There have been reports in clinical studies of rats and mice having increased risk of thyroid tumors. While it's not clear if this could happen in humans, if you or your family have had a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma, your doctor will recommend alternates. Call your doctor if you notice a lump in the neck, trouble breathing or swallowing, or hoarseness.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Byetta (Exenatide)

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  • Because Byetta (Exenatide) can interact with antibiotics and birth control pills, you can't take it until one hour after these medications.
  • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
Kidneys and liver
  • If you have severe kidney or liver problems, you should not take Byetta (Exenatide). Talk to your doctor about testing your kidneys before starting Byetta (Exenatide). People taking medications that are damaging to kidneys such as ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs or diuretics in addition to Byetta (Exenatide) may notice nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Using Byetta (Exenatide) has been associated with stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If you have severe gastrointestinal disease such as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, you should talk to your doctor about using a different medication for diabetes. You should not use Byetta (Exenatide) if you have gastroparesis, a condition that causes slow or irregular digestion. Gastroparesis can be common for people that have had uncontrolled diabetes for a while.
  • It hurts like hell coming out of injection site. Side effects take weeks to go away after stopping. DO NOT QUIT COLD TURKEY, THIS WILL MAKE YOU VERY ILL!