Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Byetta

(Exenatide)

  • Injection
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Lowers your blood sugar.

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Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ 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.

  • 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.

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Side effects for Byetta (Exenatide)

From clinical trials of Byetta / Type 2 diabetes ( 1446)

  • NauseaNausea44% for Byetta vs.18% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea41% for Byetta vs.8% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea40% for Byetta vs.15% for placebo
  • VomitingVomiting18% for Byetta vs.4% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea18% for Byetta vs.8% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache14% for Byetta vs.4% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea13% for Byetta vs.6% for placebo
  • VomitingVomiting13% for Byetta vs.1% for placebo
  • VomitingVomiting13% for Byetta vs.4% for placebo
  • ConstipationConstipation10% for Byetta vs.2% for placebo

What to expect when you take Byetta (Exenatide)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Store in the refrigerator until opening. Do not freeze.
  • Give injections in your belly, thighs, or upper arm within an hour of your two main meals of the day (separate doses by 6 or more hours).
  • Change the needle and prime the pen every time you inject.
  • It’s not safe to share this medication with other people, even if you change the needle.
  • Don’t mix with insulin; give separate injections. Can be given at the same time as insulin, but in different injection areas.
  • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
  • It's best to check your blood sugar at least once a day using a home blood sugar monitor to make sure your medication is working and is safe. Some people may need to test more often, ask your doctor.

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

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Byetta (Exenatide)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Give injections in your belly, thighs, or upper arm within an hour of your two main meals of the day (separate doses by 6 or more hours).
  • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
Kidneys & liver
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • 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.
Weight gain or loss
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Can lower your appetite by making you feel full. Some people also lose weight when taking Byetta (Exenatide).