Prescription onlyClass: Endocrine

Byetta 

(exenatide)

Prescription onlyClass: Endocrine
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Lowers blood sugar.

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Our bottom line

Byetta (Exenatide) can lower your blood sugars in addition to metformin. It does not increase your appetite unlike some other anti-diabetics, but must be given by injection and usually causes upset stomach.

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Upsides

  • Can lower your A1c (average blood sugar over time) by 1%.
  • Not as likely to cause very low blood sugar as glyburine or insulin.
  • Does not increase your appetite like other anti-diabetic medicines.
  • Pen is dialed to a single dose for easy injections.

Downsides

  • Byetta (Exenatide) must be injected twice a day. Other medicines like it can be injected once daily or even weekly.
  • It commonly causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or indigestion.
  • Can affect how well your antibiotics and birth control pills work. Take them no sooner than one hour after your injections.
How it works

Byetta (Exenatide) enhances the release of insulin in your gut and pancreas to lower your blood sugar.

What to expect when you take Byetta (exenatide) for Type 2 diabetes

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Side effect rates for Byetta (exenatide)

232 From clinical trials of Byetta / Type 2 diabetes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach

Risks and Warnings for Byetta (exenatide)

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  • Your immune system can develop antibodies to fight Byetta (Exenatide). If enough antibodies develop, it can stop the medicine from working. This can happen up to 12% of the time.

Common concerns from people taking Byetta (exenatide)

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Pregnancy
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.
Pain
  • 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 medicine 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!